Landscape Maps

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Landscape Maps


maps showing the regular patterns of arrangement and spatial structure of geographic complexes.

Detailed landscape maps (scales of 1 : 10,000 and more) ordinarily depict facies; general large-scale and medium-scale maps (from 1 : 10,000 to 1 : 1,000,000) show landmarks and localities; and small-scale maps (less than 1 : 1,000,000) show landscapes and, in some cases (for example, the Atlas of the Transbaikal, 1967), very generalized facies and landmarks. Large-scale and medium-scale landscape maps are made by field surveying (with the extensive use of aerial photographs); small-scale maps are drawn up by generalizing medium-scale landscape maps and sectorial nature maps. Geographic complexes are grouped according to a classification system (phyla, classes, species, and so forth). Depending on the purposes of the maps, there are legends of differing degrees of detail, from brief mentions of the basic indicative components of the geographic complexes (relief, vegetation) to extensive lists of indexes (including elements of climate, moisture conditions, soil, and so forth). Landscape maps are often accompanied by textual descriptions of the units identified.

The many-sided nature of landscape maps, which give the most complete synthesis of the natural conditions of a territory, offers broad opportunities for their practical use. General scientific landscape maps are used as a basis for making a variety of applied landscape maps (agricultural production, engineering geography, land reclamation, medical geography, architectural planning) in which the geographic complexes are grouped from the point of view of their economic or ecological potential or their suitability for a particular use. The maps may be used as a basis for forecast maps, which show the changes expected in geographic complexes as a result of human economic activity.

Landscape maps first appeared in the USSR during the 1920’s; however, it was not until the 1960’s that they became common and were published as part of comprehensive atlases (for example, of the Georgian SSR; the Komi ASSR; and Leningrad, Pskov, Kustanai, and Sakhalin oblasts). Outside the Soviet Union, landscape cartography is developing mostly in the European socialist countries, such as the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, and Hungary.


Isachenko, A. G. Fiziko-geograficheskoe kartirovanie, part 3. Leningrad, 1961.
Materialy Komissii po landshaftnym kartam, issues 1–3. Leningrad, 1961–63.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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