This cartographic viewer displays Spanish historical cartography from XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, the time when the new geodetic procedures were established in Spain setting up the basis of current mapping. Each map shown represents certain evolution in Spanish cartography. We are intending to increase our selection of maps.
Our aim is to compare different maps among themselves and with current cartography, either by overlapping layers with configurable transparency in the main screen or by using synchronized windows when you access Comparator.
Overlapping and synchronization of different maps have been achieved through a thorough georeferencing process for each of them. We have always tried to reconstruct the original reference system of each map or at least an equivalent one. All of them have been adjusted to the universal common framework of the theoretical grid of meridians and parallels. Finally, maps have been georeferenced to current systems for simplicity in the web management.
Maps collection of Cartoteca Rafael Mas de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Map Library) have been at our complete disposal. In addition, we have accessed other digital libraries to obtain some of the maps diplayed. We acknowledge the interest in divulgation of historical maps by the Biblioteca Digital Hispánica (Hispanic Digital Library) at Biblioteca Nacional (National Library of Spain), the Cartoteca del Instituto Geográfico Nacional (Spanish National Geographic Institute Map Library), the Museo Naval de Madrid (Spanish Navy Museum) the Biblioteca Digital de la Real Academia de la Historia (Digital Library of the Spanish Royal Academy of History), the Biblioteca Digital de la Comunidad de Madrid (Digital Library of the Regional Government of Madrid), the Cartoteca Digital del Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya (Digital Map Library of Cartographical and Geological Institute of Catalunya), among others.
In the catalogue records of those libraries, bibliographic data and maps documentation are commonly found. In our Cartographic Viewer, additional information is provided to place each map in its historical context and into the evolution of cartography, based on specific geographic and cartographic knowledge such as projection systems, kind of mapped elements with their representation type, positioning methods, data capture procedures and different historical prime meridians. In addition, we are including comments on the historical stage where maps were edited, their authors, producers and publishers. This information can be accessed by clicking on the information button beside each map in the Layers window. In the same way, the specific legend of each map can be displayed and, eventually, city maps and plans included into map sheets or atlases can also be accessed. Currently, textual information is completely available only on the Spanish version. Little by little, we are increasing the number of translated documents.
Although the Cartographic Viewer may be accessed from different platforms and operating systems, we recommend personal computers - laptop or desktop - with larger monitors. A simplified version designed for smaller devices like ipads or tablets is now available. Help is not provided for the viewer due to its simplicity and to prevent the user to be distracted from the observation of these wonderful maps.
Servicio de Cartografía de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid