XIX century in Russian Cartography
In the Russian cartographic history, the XIX century was primarily marked with the development of large-scale topographic and special mapping. At that time, in Russia like elsewhere, official topographic maps were to be compiled by the military, the Headquarters' Mapping Depot established in 1797. A major success of that office was the «Detailed map of the Russian Empire» printed in 1801 —1804; its scale was 20 verstas per inch (1:840,000), and it was known as «the hundred-folio map». In 1812, the Mapping Depot was restructured as the Military Topographic Depot; in 1822, the Military Topographic Corps was created with the giant task of degree measurements, triangulation, and topographic surveys. The work carried out under the guidance of the outstanding military topographers put Russia in a position far superior to that of a lot of foreign countries.
In 1840, the Special ten-verstas European Russia Map by F. F. Schubert was printed. The European Russia Map published since 1845 (the scale was 3 verstas per inch, or 1:126,000) was considered one of the world's best. Since 1865, there started appearing a new «Special European Russia Map» designed and supervised by I. A. Strelbitzky. The accumulated data from surveys, descriptions, and research led to printing such valuable cartographic materials as «The geographic atlas of the Russian Empire» by V. P. Pyadyshev, route and military specialized maps, city maps.
During the 19th century, maps were increasingly used in all practical spheres which resulted in their differentiation. It was then that the basic fields of special cartography were outlined. The «Geognostic map of European Russia and the Urals» became the first Russian geological map. The priority in scholarly mapping the soils belonged to the outstanding Russian scientist V. V. Dokutchayev who compiled several maps. Successes in studying the relief were related with the name of A. A. Tillo, geodesist and cartographer. Having analyzed the results of multiple measurements, he compiled the «Gypsometric map of European Russia...», which drastically changed the ideas about the relief of a vast area.
In connection with the rapid economic growth, logical were the appearing social economic maps. Among the best Russian topic-oriented maps there are the «Ethnographic map of European Russia» by P. Keppen, the «Industrial map of European Russia...», and «The economic and statistical atlas of Eu¬ropean Russia...».
Enormous were the merits in developing domestic cartography claimed by the Russian Geographic Society founded in 1845. It printed works of its own but also participated in compiling the most significant maps.
In the mid-XIX century, there appeared private mapping enterprises which contributed a lot into providing the country with required maps and atlases. The first and largest company of the sort was the «A. Ilyin's mapping company» founded in 1859. It published about 90 % of all civil-purpose cartographic products in Russia: general geographic, special, reference, and school maps and atlases. Another major private enterprise was the «A. F. Marx publishing house» basically specializing in fine literature, but having also a mapping department. It compiled and printed «The A. F. Marx big desktop world atlas» and «The Atlas of Asiatic Russia» commissioned by the Re-settlement Department in connection with moving peasants into the Asiatic part of the country. That atlas was extremely important also for the development of complex natural, social, and economic cartography.
A significant number of maps and atlases were printed for schools. Good samples of such editions are «The detailed atlas of the Russian Empire» by N. Zuyev, «The map of Russia and the tribes inhabiting it», «The illustrative map of European Russia».
The editions presented in this catalog, the number of which is necessarily limited by the mere scale of the exhibition, can certainly not exhaust the entire variety of Russian maps and atlases. They nevertheless show the basic development stages and successes on the way of cartographic development in Russia during the last two centuries, in the course of which Russia took its firm and worthy position among the countries leading in the cartographic respect.