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7.10.2009 - Problems with Mapster
As of yesterday German 1:25 000 scale maps (Messtischblatt) from Archiwum
Map Zachodniej Polski, which can be accessed via Mapster alongside other
maps, have been unavailable. This is may be due to temporary server failure
or something more serious. At worst it means that the maps will
not be - temporarily - available, until our collegues sort it out.
Last time we said that we have be a larger collection of maps to scan by end of September. We did not do this, because the price of scanning is (more or less) the same, as the price of renting a large-format scanner. Additionally, there is a HIGH chance that we will be given access to a LARGE map collection (about 2 - 6 thousand maps) to scan, so it is more... reasonable to rent a scanner. However this will NOT happen very soon. We estimate that we will be able to do it only in February / March or May / June next year. However, the collection is worth waiting for, for example it includes many maps from Eastern Europe, i.e. Soviet Union (German 1:300K and 1:100K maps), and from other places.
So, in the meantime, we will focus on other materials, such as Polish and German cartographic publications from 1930 - 1944 which will be available to download through "Literature".
We will add SOME maps between now and 2009, but you should not expect more than a few.
approx 50 new German maps
30+ K.u.K. maps from 1875 - 1885 (1:300 000)
several new town and city plans
a few maps of Poland
a few general / administrative maps by WIG and one by the 12 kompania geograficzna, of the Polish 2nd Corps. Monte Cassino
We have approx 150 - 250 new (various types) sheets, they wait in line to be scanned. We will try to do at least half of them by the end of September.
- 68 KuK maps (1:75 000) have been added to the folder: other maps / Austro Hungaran. Enjoy!
- Another series (89 sheets) of German 1:25 000 maps (mainly western Poland), based on WIG 1:25 000 have been added and
- 9 x WIG 1:25 000 sheets, a present from our friends in Lithuania!
1. Over 50 x WIG map (100K) added, in case you haven't been to the folder. The maps are "for internal use only", i.e. copies of German and Czech maps, with minor updates at times.
2. We have updated the links to the left to include one to a folder, previously only visible when clicking on Polish flag. The folder contains other WIG maps, i.e. those which are not of the main series (25K, 100K, 300K, 500K); they are various maps, from detailed, to quite general, some are quite exotic (Liberia, Greenland). There will be more.
3. We have uploaded an issue of "Wiadomosci Sluzby Geograficznej", 1/1939. This quarterly, unfortunately in Polish, provides a better insight into the work of WIG, with articles loosely based around cartography / geography / ethnography / trigonnometry, etc. Some articles include a precis, usually in French or German. The issue also includes a section (several pages) on sailing.
The current version of this quarterly is a non-OCR pdf (19Mb + 35 Mb pdf with maps), so you can't search for or copy text yet. We are working on an OCR and will upload it as soon as possible.
n.b. we have scanned the editions from 1935, 1936, 1937, 1939 and the first issue of 1939. All of them will become available, however it will take time - each volume holds approx. 700 pages.
4. Although it remains a sideline for our website, we might have something of particular interest to our international users - we have received a fair number of K.u.K. map scans n 1:75 000, which show the area of Galicja (Galizien) between 1879 - 1905, a crucial period for emigration from Eastern Europe. Quite a number of sheets come from the early years and quality is usually very good. At present "only" 400 dpi version is available, we will add 600 dpi in a few months time. Total number of new sheets will be around 130, of which 62 are already available, the rest should appear in about 4 weeks' time.
5. A few new German maps from Central / Eastern Europe, and two city plans have been added. Plan of Odessa from 1917, sadly, due to scanning flop, has lost the air of "authenticity", although it is perfectly legible (no, we can't rescan it, the map is no longer available). The other plan is of Vilnius, then Wilna, probably dated around WWI times.
We have received (from our friends at Archiwum Map Zachodniej Polski) 70 scans of German war-time copies of WIG 1:25 000 maps. Further 70 sheets will appear in about a month's time. These maps cover the area of central-western Poland (in its pre-WW2 borders). Those areas were incorporated into III Reich therefore, in many cases, original Polish sheet titles and / or individual place-names are either distorted or replaced with German names. Other elements within the map, i.e. topographic information, is identical with the pre-war Polish maps. The above is not an ideal situation, we do however need to consider the fact, that we might never get hold of the pre-war original maps.
We have also added two other sheets:
1:100 000, P40 S37 BRZESC nad BUGIEM, from a different source, 400 dpi, and P51 S32 A KRYNICA, 1:25 000, (tourist edition, in colour).
In the next few weeks there will be plenty of other new maps and materials.
1. Last month the users of our site downloaded over 100GB more than our monthly limit, which automatically triggered a “penalty” charge of over $250. After discussions with our host, the charge has been refunded, but this was only a one-off gesture of good will.
We do not blame you, the users in this sense that, after all, we keep adding new files and, naturally, people want to download them; at the same time our project becomes more popular which generates more traffic. What we would like to ask, in these circumstances, is just a little thought and a feeling of responsibility. If you have just discovered our website and want to download all the maps, go ahead and do it, but do it only once and, if possible, share your collections with others on DVDs which won’t cost you much.
The bottom line is that we can not afford to pay such high charges each moth and if the amount of data downloaded each month approaches our limit, we will have no choice but to block access to the files until the start of a new billing month.
2. For the record, as the maps have been available for quite some time now, we have opened a new sub-page with WIG maps scaled at 1:500 000, in a post-WW2 edition.
3. There is slow bit steady progress in a stock-taking of WIG 1:25 000 maps held across various map collections across the world. As you might know, a total of approx. 4000 sheets were to cover the whole territory of pre-war Poland. By 1939 about 1300 - 1500 sheets were printed, most of them known only from the war-time German copies.
Obviously the list of those maps has more than the basic purpose of knowing where they are, we want to get them scanned and made available, although this might be a long-drawn process.
As mentioned previously, we keep adding new files every few days, so please check relevant folders, at present, in particular "other maps".
Today we have added 15 new files to the "flagship" folder of WIG 1:100 000 and there are more to follow in the next few weeks.
1. The institution we approached some time ago for a permission to scan a large number of their maps has turned us down.
2. We have scanned approx 1000 of our own maps of various types and scales. As it will take some time to process the files and they will be added continuously, rather than in bulk, we will not be able to announce every single map added, please check sub-pages from time to time. Most of the new maps are new, others are old files, but re-scanned for better quality. We will make it clear what is new and what is a replacement.
3. Slowly, but surely, we will tidy up the "other maps" folder, sorting the files and providing additional information. We have begun with German maps and added a city plans folder, to be reworked and expanded.
4. Last but not least, the Mapster interface has been updated with English and German version and the map index pages open faster.