Cartography is a field of science, technology, and production that encompasses the study, creation, and use of cartographic works. Primarily, cartography studies the relationships between social and natural phenomena and reflects them on geographic maps, plans, and other cartographic works.

Cartographic method is the determination of the location, height, and size of landforms using various maps, as well as the description of various phenomena.

Cartographic works include a wide range of services and activities related to the processing, formation, research, and use of cartographic data. The creation (updating) of maps (plans) is carried out after preparatory work, which may include field topogeodetic surveys, studying existing cartographic products for the specified area, and obtaining remote sensing materials of the area to be mapped, acquired via spacecraft, aerial photography systems, and UAVs. Based on the collected information, a thorough study of the mapping area is conducted, and the technology for creating (updating) cartographic products is developed, along with the drafting and approval of editorial-technical guidelines. Materials from cartographic works find wide application in construction, land management, and other fields. The organization of cartographic works allows for the production of maps and atlases that are used as primary, supplementary, and reference materials, etc.


Problems to be solved

The main task of cartography is the development, creation, study, and use of cartographic works.

In the present time, with the computerization of cartographic science, the tasks of cartography have become:

  • the creation of digital and electronic maps, as well as the formation of a digital cartographic information bank;
  • providing science, industry, and the needs of the population with high-quality cartographic products;
  • expanding the mapping space, including mapping less-studied areas;
  • further improving the accuracy of cartographic works and enhancing their content.

As cartography evolves and its research methods improve, the tasks it faces become more complex:

  • there is a need to create new types of maps and develop new directions (assessment and environmental state of natural resources, socio-economic studies, forecasting the development of various phenomena, creating cartographic materials for unmanned transport);
  • new methods for compiling and using maps are being developed.

All work related to the study of territory cannot do without maps. Even the most detailed description of an area cannot replace a map.

The availability of cartographic data provides the opportunity to:

  • solve state tasks in cartography (defense, science, etc.);
  • create maps of areas and plans;
  • conduct graphical measurement and calculation in forecasting and planning;
  • determine important parameters during construction, major repairs, and other works using graphical methods;
  • delineate the contours and boundaries of administrative units;
  • determine the sizes of cadastral plots and other structures;
  • create graphical supplements to various official documents;
  • forecast environmental measures in a settlement area;
  • control topographic dynamics.

Cartographic services play a significant role in socio-economic activities. They allow for faster work completion, reduced costs, and increased profitability. Accurate knowledge of the territory helps avoid errors in design, construction, and other types of work.

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Implementation examples

Creation of a digital city model (3D) for large cities with a population of more than 100,000 people

  • Creation of a digital twin of the city;
  • Spatial analysis of existing networks and the environment;
  • Spatial analysis and modeling in the planning of new networks;
  • Selection of sites with corresponding calculations for cellular antennas, PCS radio ports, fiber nodes, and repeaters;
  • Determination of the optimal cable routing considering main street lines, railways, and various underground utilities;
  • Determination of the optimal location of radio relay lines considering surface profiles;
  • Determination of optical visibility from antenna locations;
  • Modeling of radio wave propagation and analysis of their coverage areas;
  • Obtaining geographically referenced measurements of electromagnetic field magnitudes (GIS+GPS) and their analysis.

In accordance with the technical specifications, an orthophotomap of the city was obtained, radiometric color correction was performed, colors were balanced and brought to natural tones, and color leveling was carried out on each image individually. The selection, analysis, and acquisition of initial vector data and archival topographic maps in raster and vector formats include the systematization of the source material. Vector data serve as the basis for forming the initial set of vector layers, which are subsequently updated and corrected based on the digital orthophotomap. Based on vector data, the creation of a Digital Elevation Model, a Digital Surface Model, a Clutter Model, and a Height Obstacle Model of the city was carried out.

  • Orthophotomap;
  • Digital Elevation Model;
  • Digital Surface Model;
  • Height Obstacle Model;
  • Vector Model;
  • Clutter Model.

The digital models are prepared based on the UTM Projection, WGS-84 Ellipsoid, Baltic Height System, and are fully compatible with the Mentum Planet planning tool, as well as compatible with ASSET, ATOLL, and Mapinfo formats.

Creation of a digital city model (3D) for large cities

Creation of topographic maps for the field territory


Creation of digital topographic maps at a scale of 1:25,000 for the territory of deposits in accordance with the requirements of current regulatory documents.

  • Collection of data on the study of the territory, development of a work methodology;
  • Audit of topographic and geodetic data and source materials;
  • Assessment of the quality and completeness of existing initial digital topographic maps at a scale of 1:25,000;
  • Determination of the procedure and technology for creating digital topographic maps with the preparation and approval of the "Editorial-Technical Guidelines for Updating DTMs" with the Customer.

DTMs at a scale of 1:25,000 in "ArcGIS" and "MapInfo" formats in electronic and paper form. A technical report on the work performed: in paper and electronic form.

Creation of a topographic plan at a scale of 1:5000

Creation of a topographic plan at a scale of 1:5000


Cadastral accounting of infrastructure objects, monitoring the condition of objects, and the progress of construction using remote sensing methods.


Preliminary processing of materials. Initial processing of survey materials was carried out: radiometric, geometric, and atmospheric corrections. Then, to improve the spatial referencing of the images, orthocorrection was performed using control points. Interpretation of terrain objects. The technological scheme for visual interpretation of main pipeline objects from high and ultra-high spatial resolution satellite images involves recognizing natural and technical environment objects and then graphically highlighting them on the image.


Digital topographic plan at a scale of 1:5,000 in "AutoCAD" format, remote sensing materials, orthophotomap at a scale of 1:5,000, work program for creating a digital topographic plan at a scale of 1:5,000, and a technical report.

Formation of a topographic plan at a scale of 1:5000

Mapping of Sosnovsky's borschevik growing sites in the Smolensk region


Creation of geospatial data sets and digital cartographic works on the locations of Sosnowsky's hogweed in the Smolensk region based on satellite imagery.

Sentinel-2A satellite image
  • Obtaining Sentinel-2A satellite images for the Smolensk region (3 images from 2019 with less than 10% cloud cover);
  • Processing the satellite images for each series (Image processing level - L2A, with atmospheric correction and ortho-rectification);
  • Mapping the locations of Sosnowsky's hogweed in the Smolensk region;
  • Quantitative assessment of the areas infested with Sosnowsky's hogweed in the municipalities of the Smolensk region;
  • Creating a set of thematic maps (geodatabase) and a GIS project based on the mapping and quantitative assessment results.

As a result of the work, the following goals were achieved:

1) A set of satellite images from different times was obtained.

2) A geodatabase of Sosnowsky's hogweed locations in the Smolensk region as of 2019 was created, including data such as:

  • A set of vector data in .shp format, WGS84 projection, utf-8 encoding;
  • A set of raster data in .tif format, WGS84 projection.

3) A GIS project was created to display the geodatabase, including layers such as:

Administrative-territorial division:

  • First-order municipalities (districts and urban districts);
  • First-order municipalities (settlements).
  • Locations of Sosnowsky's hogweed:
  • Areas of Sosnowsky's hogweed growth;
  • Spread of Sosnowsky's hogweed by settlements, ha;
  • Spread of Sosnowsky's hogweed by districts and urban districts, ha.

Mapping of Sosnovsky's borschevik growing sites in the Smolensk region

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Cartography is the science of depicting geographical objects on maps and globes. The history of cartography goes back many years, starting with the first maps created by ancient civilizations. Maps and atlases became one of the ways of displaying the world, developing scientific theories and mathematical projections. Cartographers in Russia played an important role in the development of geography and cartography. They used various methods and technologies to form maps and globes that helped us understand the world around us. The scientific and linguistic skills of cartographers were important tools for developing the first maps that reflected the geographical features and cultural differences on the planet. Cartography has many applications, from using maps for travel and navigation to their use in geology, architecture and urban planning, the military, the environment, and other fields. Maps can display not only geographical features but also various aspects such as demographics, economic and political information. Today, cartography continues to evolve, using new technologies to develop more accurate maps and globes. It also plays an important role in scientific research and issues related to climate change and the environment. Displaying the world on maps and globes remains an important tool for education and understanding the world around us. Modern technologies, such as GIS (geographic information systems), facilitate and extend the capabilities of cartography, enabling more accurate and useful maps to be created and used in a variety of applications.
The history of cartography goes back many millennia. The first maps appeared in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, where they were used for orientation in space and navigation. At that time maps were simple schematic images that displayed only the main geographical objects. With the development of geographical discoveries and the expansion of trade routes, cartography began to play a more important role in people's lives. During the Renaissance, maps became more accurate and detailed through the use of new methods and technology. They became more detailed, depicting landforms and geographical features according to their actual position on the earth's surface. In the 19th century, with the development of scientific cartography, maps became more accurate and were used in various fields of science. New methods of map research and creation were developed, including the use of aerial photographs and satellite data. Today, cartography continues to evolve, using new technologies and methods to create more accurate maps and globes. Maps and geographic data are used in a variety of fields including geology, ecology, archaeology, history, economics, geopolitics, and tourism. The history of cartography demonstrates how important maps and globes are to our understanding of the world around us and to our orientation in space.
The language of cartography is a special terminological language used in the creation and interpretation of maps. It includes definitions, terms and symbols that are used to designate geographical objects and their characteristics on a map. One of the important elements of the cartographic language is geographic coordinates, which define the location of objects on the Earth's surface. Coordinates can be expressed in various formats, including degrees, minutes and seconds, or in decimal degrees. Another important element of the cartographic language is the symbols and symbols that are used to represent geographic features on a map. For example, different types of lines are used to represent rivers, roads, railroads, etc. Different symbols are used to represent cities, lakes, mountains and other geographical features. The language of cartography also includes terms that are used to describe the characteristics of geographical objects. For example, the term "elevation" is used to describe the relative height of mountains and other landforms, and the term "extent" is used to describe the length of rivers and roads. Understanding the language of cartography is essential for working with maps and geographic data in a variety of fields, including science, business and government. The language of cartography helps to ensure uniformity and accuracy in the development and interpretation of maps, which in turn facilitates understanding and information sharing among professionals in the field. Cartography displays different elements using symbols, colors, lines, and text. Each type of geographic feature has its own symbol, which is usually standard for that type of feature and is used universally. For example, different types of lines are used to represent rivers on maps, depending on the size of the river and its importance. Wide and bright blue lines are used to indicate major rivers, while narrow and light-colored lines are used for smaller streams and rivers. Mountains and hills are usually indicated by colors or lines that show the elevation or relief configuration of the land surface. A map may use a shade of color to indicate different elevations. Other elements such as state boundaries, cities, and roads are indicated by different lines and symbols. State boundaries may be indicated by a dotted line and cities by a circular symbol, often with an inscription indicating its name. Roads and highways are marked with different types of lines to indicate their type and importance. Text is also often used on maps to indicate settlements, geographical features, and other important elements. Text can be written in different fonts, sizes and colors to make it more visible on the map. It is important to note that different cartographic traditions and styles may use different methods of displaying geographic elements, and so it is important to understand the context and accepted standards when working with maps.
Topographic cartography is a branch of cartography that deals with the production of detailed maps of an area using specialized methods and technologies. Topographic maps usually include information on topography, rivers, lakes, forests, roads, buildings and other features that may be useful for navigation. Geologic cartography is a branch of cartography that deals with the development of maps that show geologic formations and processes. Geologic maps can show different types of rocks, their ages, the structure of the earth's crust, the location of ore deposits, and other information that can be useful for geologic research. Hydrographic cartography is a branch of cartography that deals with the formation of maps showing rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, and other bodies of water. Hydrographic maps usually contain information on water depth, currents, tides, and weather conditions. Climate cartography is a branch of cartography that deals with the development of maps that show climatic conditions on the earth's surface. Climate maps can show temperature, humidity, precipitation, and other parameters that can be useful in studying climate change and weather forecasting. Aerial photography and space cartography is a branch of cartography that deals with the generation of maps based on photographs of the Earth's surface taken from the air or space. Such maps can be used to study changes in the landscape, observe weather conditions, forecast natural disasters, etc. GIS cartography is a branch of cartography that deals with updating maps and spatial databases using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS allows collecting, storing, analyzing and displaying geographic data in digital form, which makes it possible to solve various problems in the field of geography, ecology, urban planning, forestry, land use, etc. Nautical cartography is a section of cartography that deals with updating charts for marine and ocean navigation purposes. Nautical charts may contain information on sea currents, depths, tides, and the location of hazards to ships. Satellite cartography is a branch of cartography that deals with updating maps based on data obtained from satellite imagery. Satellite maps can provide information on the location of cities, roads, buildings, forests, rivers, and other features that can be useful for a variety of applications. Tourism cartography is a section of cartography that deals with updating maps and atlases that tourists use for navigation, route planning and sightseeing. Tourism maps usually contain information about cities, hotels, museums, monuments and other tourist sites.
Geodesic and cartographic works - the process of creating geodesic and cartographic materials, data and products (Article 1 of the Federal Law dated 26.12.1995 No. 209-FZ "On Geodesy and Cartography").
Topographic-geodesic works - activities aimed at obtaining spatial data on the relief and objects of the terrain.
A number of types of cartographic images originated in the sphere of socio-economic cartography and through it entered the arsenal of general cartography: cartogram and cartodiagram, point method, to a large extent - the method of icons, the method of signs (lines) of movement.
A cartographic projection is a way of representing the three-dimensional surface of the Earth on the map plane. The creation of a map projection converts geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) into two-dimensional coordinates on a map. There are many different types of map projections, each with its own strengths and weaknesses depending on the purpose of the map.
  • Conic:

    In conic projection, the image is constructed on the lateral surface of a cone, intersecting the Earth's sphere along two parallels or tangentially to it. The apex of the cone lies on the extension of the Earth's axis.

    Conic Cartographic Projections
  • Cylindrical:

    Cylindrical projections have meridians as equidistant parallel lines, and parallels as perpendicular lines to them. They are used to depict areas elongated along the equator or a particular parallel. In navigation, the Mercator projection is used, while the transverse Mercator projection is used in creating topographic maps.

    Cylindrical Cartographic Projections
  • Azimuthal:

    In azimuthal projection, the parallels of the normal grid are concentric circles, and the meridians are their radii diverging from the common center of the parallels at angles equal to the difference in longitudes. Each point on the map has the same azimuth with respect to the central meridian as it does with the central meridian on the sphere.

    Normal azimuthal projections are used for maps of polar regions, for the Arctic and Antarctica.

    Azimuthal Cartographic Projections


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