Electronic Journal of Polish Agricultural Universities (EJPAU) founded by all Polish Agriculture Universities presents original papers and review articles relevant to all aspects of agricultural sciences. It is target for persons working both in science and industry,regulatory agencies or teaching in agricultural sector. Covered by IFIS Publishing (Food Science and Technology Abstracts), ELSEVIER Science - Food Science and Technology Program, CAS USA (Chemical Abstracts), CABI Publishing UK and ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publisher - full membership). Presented in the Master List of Thomson ISI.
Volume 21
Issue 1
Geodesy and Cartography
DOI:10.30825/5.ejpau.16.2018.21.1, EJPAU 21(1), #04.
Available Online: http://www.ejpau.media.pl/volume21/issue1/art-04.html


Jacek Górski
Institute of Geoinformation and Cartography, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Olsztyn, Poland



Complete presentation of a geotourist site requires a description of the location. Some maps are designed exactly for that purpose, but geotourist features may be also found on other tourist maps.
   After presentation of the general idea of the tourist maps, the main characteristics of these maps (purposes, types and content) are discussed with remarks on geotourism.
   The principal questions concern the properties of the geological information and the geological information in relation to other subject matters. The number, classes and graphical form of the represented sites are considered from the perspective of cartographical symbolization. The additional content of maps, especially the descriptive part, is also compared.
   Polish tourist maps are involved as the subject of studies. Some examples, derived from these maps, illustrate the discussed problems. A prior selection was made to compare maps designed in various times and by different publishing houses.

Key words: general tourist maps, geotourism, geotourist map, thematic mapping.


Maps are indispensable in every form of tourism; therefore, they are very diversified. Each kind of tourist activities requires a map. Generally, maps are useful before a trip – at the stage of planning, through to orientating during sightseeing, finally as the basis for recollection as well as for making further plans.

A tourist map in printed form is composed of the main drawing (its geographical extent is fenced by map frame) and additional information, placed beyond the map body: some insets for better representation of characteristic regional details, photos together with other pictures and a descriptive part, comprising both general (referred to the whole region) and specified (dealing with chosen features) themes.

Many kinds of maps for tourists have been developed so far, in order to meet different interests or needs. Geotourist maps, which may be roughly defined as maps exposing geological and geomorphological features, are among them.

Geoturism is a type of knowledge or experience-oriented tourism, basing on the exploration of geological sites and processes and experiencing this way some aesthetical impressions [13]. Although geotourism (like other fields of tourism) requires some specialized maps, usage of the general tourist maps also may be considered. Representation of the set of geotourist sites becomes one of the thematic layers superimposed on the background of topographical reference data.


Generally two kinds of maps are related to tourism [15]. It is easy to distinguish them on the basis of thematic content and purpose. The first comprises maps representing tourism as a social or economic phenomenon. Statistical data as well as other findings are displayed, for example, the number of visitors who are accommodated in certain resorts in the course of a year. These thematic maps, often regarded as tourism maps, are useful in land management and planning.

Maps of the second kind depict monuments, interesting or famous sites, sightseeing routes, other attractions and facilities for tourists. It is obvious that these maps are intended for tourists and commonly they are called tourist maps. The subject of presented paper is connected exactly with them.

Generally, one may state that there are as many types of the tourist maps as forms of tourist activities. People undertake trips for different reasons. We should remember that not only these who leave just to take a rest (for recreational purposes) are called tourists. Many tourists also travel for work-related, business, religious and other purposes. Moreover, some maps are adequate for “ordinary backpackers”, whereas others are designed for “connoisseurs and experts”.


It is quite difficult to clearly define and classify all tourist maps because of their numerous characteristics. Moreover, by relying on a single criterion we yield only a fragmentary division. For comprehensive classification, however, a set of criteria should be considered. Several authors have applied this approach. An older example of classification may be found in Bambaldokov’s paper [1], which comprises 6 criteria:

In the above-mentioned paper, Trafas [15]has pointed seven criteria:

The first is used the most often; we can recognize it as the primary one. The type of tourism determines the map content (therefore, the question of tourism type matches Bambaldokov’s criterion of content). Trafas has specified maps for geotourism among hierarchically-ordered types and subtypes of maps. Also, Kałamucki in his analysis of map content [7] has noted down geological-tourist maps.

Scale is also included in every description of a map. It is closely related to the map purpose as well as the represented area. Tourist maps are distinguished by a wide range of scales. Generally, a scale about 1:10 000 may be considered for the most detailed maps, whereas a scale of less than 1:500 000 is used for overview maps.

The functional types of maps [5] are another important question. Maps are used for many reasons and in different situations. First of all, maps are useful in order to inform and to advertise – thanks to them tourists learn about some attractions. Subsequently, maps become aids while travelling to desired places. The improvement of efficiency in moving in sites of interest is the next map function. Furthermore, a tourist map is a kind of guide, which not only helps in the navigation, but also serves to enrich the information on geographical objects. Tyner [16] proposes to summarize purposes of thematic maps in three points: data storage, visualization and communication. We should keep in mind that maps (as a part of tourist information) appeared on the WWW very early [3]. The development of interactive maps, with application of advanced techniques, is impressing.

Jancewicz and Borowicz [6] have discussed the essence and classification of tourist maps; among other a growing interest in maps for geotourism was pointed out.

A comprehensive analysis of geotourist maps, with identification of types basing on the statistical method, has presented Bissig [2]. Initially attention was paid not only for maps used by general users, but also by professionals – both of them seem diversified – but detailed comparison comprises maps of the first kind, finally divided into five types:


Generally, a reference map is a base of every thematic (or special) map – content of that map (all or certain elements) becomes a background for representation of the main subject. Topographical maps are often adapted for tourist purposes: their elements are selected and simplified.

The content of a tourist map should reflect attractions (values) and facilities (or services) which make sightseeing possible [9]. Respectively, fundamental groups of content may be specified:


Maps are often supported by some additional or ancillary content, like pictures, descriptions or indices. Passing into the geographical visualization, many forms may be involved (besides conventional maps): networks, charts, tables, symbols, diagrams and pictures [12]. It is often emphasized that maps are unique and an attempt to form rigid rules of mapping fails [4].

A detailed description of geotourist map was given by Zwoliński [18]. The considered scope of geotourism is not restricted to geological and geomorphological sites, but also comprises some features of animate nature and a wide range of objects pertaining to the field of cultural (or heritage) tourism. According to this sensu largo definition, not the subject of interest itself, but man's attitude is crucial. This way, geotourism becomes very close to sustainable (or soft) tourism, i.e. an environmentally-sensible tourist activity [11,17], bringing advantages not only to tourists, but to inhabitants and the whole environment, too.

There are three types of components in the structure of content proposed by Zwoliński for his geotourist map:

It is clearly resulting from this assumption that a geotourist map appears as a well-thought-out composition of many thematic layers, derived from several maps. The most important is that the content should not be as detailed (or advanced) as that necessary for scientific purposes, but must be much more developed than in conventional tourist map, since geotourists are quite discerning and acquainted map users.


General tourist maps depicting the region of Kłodzko were chosen for detailed comparison. The town of Kłodzko is situated in the southwest part of Poland in the Sudety Mountains. This region is very attractive for tourists, and particularly it is well-known for its geological features. Ten out of the hundred Polish geotourist sites listed in the catalogue by Słomka et al. [14], are within 25 km of Kłodzko. There are many special publications dedicated to this region, among them the newest description of 65 selected geotourist sites by Marek [10].

The character of the Kłodzko region makes tourist maps especially desired. The physical-tourist map Kotlina Kłodzka i góry przyległe (Valley of Kłodzko and the adjoining mountains) 1:10 0000 by Walczak is one of the few Polish maps issued soon after World War II. Państwowe Przedsiębiorstwo Wydawnictw Kartograficznych (PPWK – State Cartographical Publishing House, the most significant map publisher in Poland before 1989) entered the field of tourist maps in 1957, and as early as 1960 a map Kotlina Kłodzka (Valley of Kłodzko) 1:125 000 was issued. After political and economic changes (including the introduction of the market economy and the abolishment of censorship) which began in 1989, cartographical production in Poland has considerably grown.

For detailed comparison, eight maps were selected – four edited by PPWK (Kotlina Kłodzka 1962, Kotlina Kłodzka 1969, Ziemia Kłodzka 1990, Masyw Śnieżnika i Góry Bialskie 1991) and four representing other publishing houses (Ziemia Kłodzka 2004, Bystrzyca Kłodzka i okolice 2001, Stronie Śląskie, Masyw Śnieżnika 2001, Ziemia Kłodzka 2005). The geographical extent of each map is shown on Figure 1 – additionally geotourist sites [Słomka et al. 2006] are depicted by stars.

Fig. 1. Comparison of example maps extent Geotourist sites [14] are depicted by stars.

Reference content (area and line symbols prevail in its representation) of all considered maps comprise the following components: relief (only contours or contours with hypsometric colouring or plastic shading), water areas, forests, settlements (towns and some types of villages represented by contour of build-up area), railways with stations and tunnels – skipped only in Kotlina Kłodzka (1962), roads and pathways (from three to six categories), state boundaries – also provinces in Kotlina Kłodzka (1962) and communes in Bystrzyca Kłodzka i okolice (2001).

The tourist content of these maps, represented chiefly with point symbols, may be grouped as follows (some examples of features for each group are added):


The first of the presented maps, the above-mentioned Kotlina Kłodzka (1962), is among the oldest PPWK maps. Its extent is considerably larger than the valley of Kłodzko. Despite the quite small scale, there are six pictorial symbols (i.e. one-fourth of all point signs in the legend) for geological features: rock reserves (a different symbol from botany reserves), single rocks (cliffs), mushroom-like rocks (a special symbol), caves, quarries and viewpoints. Moreover, two symbols (an old gold-mine and waterfall) are explained directly on the map body (not in the legend). In the descriptive part besides some remarks on geological and landscape attractiveness with an overview of the most interesting sites, several geotourist features (rock reserves and groups of rocks) appear as separated items, for example, Błędne Skały (Wandering Rocks), Grzyby Skalne (Mushroom Rocks).

Kotlina Kłodzka (1969) is an improved version of the above-described map. It is of the same extent and scale, but the content is enriched: the number of point pictorial symbols is increased to 37. The set of geotourist features designed for Kotlina Kłodzka (1962) also includes mineral springs, so there are nine symbols of this kind in total. The descriptive part is also developed, especially the index of tourist sites; some examples of additions may be given: Trojak (a mountain with picturesque rocks) and – first of all – Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia (Bear Cave), discovered in 1966, but not open to tourists at that time.

A representative of the next group of PPWK publications is Ziemia Kłodzka (1990). In the legend, containing 35 point signs, one can find five symbols pertaining to geotourism: quarries, single rocks, caves, landscape reserves (this symbol is not described clearly – it is put together with botany reserves), mineral springs. Moreover, signs for adits of old mines appears on the map body (with attached explanation). Cartographical representation is supplemented with a very large textual part: there are short descriptions of regions and nature reserves, followed by an index of tourist sites. 27 geotourist features (mostly rock walls and cliffs) are discussed separately and some other with the nearest settlements.

Masyw Śnieżnika i Góry Bialskie (1991) is the last example of PPWK maps. The scale is larger, but the content is not considerably enriched in comparison with Ziemia Kłodzka (1990). There are 32 point signs in the legend. Quarries, caves, single rocks and mineral springs are represented as point symbols, whereas nature reserves of all kinds have a common area symbol. The watersheds of the Baltic and North and Black Seas are depicted. The textual part is constructed as in Ziemia Kłodzka (1990), and 32 geologic features are described as separated items.

The “Eko-Graf” publishing house issued Ziemia Kłodzka (2004). The legend contains 35 point signs, among them: rocks, quarries, caves, mineral springs, viewpoints and a general sign for nature reserves. Moreover, there is a special symbol for old mines, with an explanation on the map body. Some sites are labelled on the map as the particularly interesting ones (for example, caves, cliffs, old mines and museums of mining). There are no detailed descriptions of interesting places (only an index of important addresses), but as many as ten inset maps are added – a plan of Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia is one of them.

Bystrzyca Kłodzka i okolice (2001) is an instance of cartographical production of the “Plan” publishing house. 23 point symbols are included in the legend, six of them are regarded as geological features: quarries, old mining areas, groups of rocks, caves, springs and waterfalls. Nature reserves are depicted as point or area symbols. There are four inset maps. Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia and Wodospad Wilczki (the Wilczka River waterfall) are described in the textual part (photos of this waterfall are placed on the outside of the map).

Next considered map is Stronie Śląskie, Masyw Śnieżnika (2001) by “Compass”. The scale is the largest and, consequently, the content is very detailed. The legend comprises 41 symbols. Springs, single rocks, viewpoints, nature reserves, caves, old mines may be recognized as geotourist sites. In the descriptive part, as well as general information, settlements, historical monuments and natural values are also mentioned. Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia is especially emphasized: the presentation consists of a detailed description, advertisement, photo, plan and section.

The last example map is Ziemia Kłodzka (2005) by “Demart”. Printing is two-sided – this way, despite quite large scale, the sheet size is not excessive. There is no descriptive part. As many as 59 point signs represent the tourist content of this map, and seven of them are assigned to geological features: a common symbol for mines and adits (working and abandoned), quarries, two symbols for caves (no explanation of the difference), rocks and viewpoints. Besides signs included in the legend, a waterfall is shown with a special labelled symbol.

Second part of the study pertains to the common extent of all maps – the vicinity of Lądek-Zdrój and Stronie Śląskie. For comparison of cartographical representation, geological objects were selected basing on the set, which was compiled and valued (from one to three stars) by Marek [10]. It is quite obvious that the most valuable and interesting objects will be included in the content of every tourist map. On the other hand, information on the sites of the lowest category likely is skipped in general maps. Relating these two ideas to the classification of the mentioned set, it may be stated that the medium-level objects (two stars) are reliable to estimate geological features in the content of general tourist maps. There are 11 objects (listed in Tab. 1) within the area of the common coverage; some of them are described by Koszela and Marek [8].

Table 1. Representation of geotourist sites on example maps
Map number
“Kletno I” quarry
Uranium mine adits
Uranium mine adit no. 18
Uranium post-mining heap
Marble quarries
at  Krzyżnik
Stronie Śląskie
“Łaskawy Kamień”
lime kiln
Stara Morawa
Nowa Wieś
Rocks on Trojak
“Szary Kamień”
basalt quarry

It is possible to specify three types of representation on the map body:

Moreover there are three types of representation in the additional content:

Above abbreviations are applied in the final comparison (Tab. 1). Majority of objects (at least 6) appears on five maps and five objects are present on majority of maps; three among them – quarries at  Krzyżnik, rocks on Trojak and “Szary Kamień” (Grey Stone) basalt quarry – on all maps. Eight objects are represented in the map body as well as in the additional content (mostly only mentions are involved). Symbols supported by an additional label make one-third of total. Unique symbol is designed for “Łaskawy Kamień” (Gracious Stone) lime kiln. Omitting of some sites can be explained on the basis of cartographical generalization: avoidance of congestion, adjustment to scale and character of object (for example possibility of entrance and sightseeing). We should keep in mind that displacement of some symbols in the older maps was effected by censorship (representation of quarries can illustrate restrictions referred just to the geological data).


One of the most popular types of maps are tourist maps. The range of tourist interests is very wide and that is why these maps are quite varied. The purpose of map especially affects the thematic content, resulting in the formation of new kinds of maps.

The described maps of the Kłodzko region are tourist maps, showing attractive sites and facilities for tourists on the background of simplified topographical data. Analysis of the appearance of geological features on these maps confirms the supposition of their use in geotourism.

The first part of the study covers the comparison of map content. There are up to seven special symbols in the legend for geological features and moreover many other sites are labelled on the map body. The number of geotourist symbols is significant in comparison to the other groups of content. The descriptive part comprises mainly short remarks on geological features, only the most famous ones are emphasized by, for example, a detailed presentation with photo.

In the second part of the study, geological objects within the common coverage of analysed maps are considered. Three types of representation on the map body are defined and similarly – three types of elements in the additional content. Results are reported in the tabular form.

General tourist maps are a good medium for promoting valuable monuments and sites of many kinds. Although their content may not meet all the expectations of people interested in geology, they should not be neglected.


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List of maps

  1. Kotlina Kłodzka, mapa turystyczna, 1:125 000, 1962. Ed. A. Młynarska, M. Łakoma. Państwowe Przedsiębiorstwo Wydawnictw Kartograficznych Warszawa.
  2. Kotlina Kłodzka, mapa turystyczna, 1:125 000, 1969. Ed. M. Łakoma, D. Piekarz. Państwowe Przedsiębiorstwo Wydawnictw Kartograficznych Warszawa, 5th ed.
  3. Ziemia Kłodzka, mapa turystyczna, 1:90 000, 1990. Ed. A. Szymanek, A. Skórkowska-Szopa. Państwowe Przedsiębiorstwo Wydawnictw Kartograficznych im. E. Romera Warszawa – Wrocław, 11th ed.
  4. Masyw Śnieżnika i Góry Bialskie, mapa turystyczna, 1:60 000, 1991. Ed. A. Kajoch, L. Strutyńska, M. Brzeziński. Państwowe Przedsiębiorstwo Wydawnictw Kartograficznych im. E. Romera Warszawa – Wrocław, 6th ed.
  5. Ziemia Kłodzka, mapa turystyczna, 1:100 000, 2004. Wydawnictwo Kartograficzne Eko-Graf Wrocław.
  6. Bystrzyca Kłodzka i okolice, 1:100 000, 2001. Plan Jelenia Góra, 1st ed.
  7. Stronie Śląskie, Masyw Śnieżnika, mapa turystyczna, 1:30 000, 2001. Wydawnictwo Kartograficzne Compass Kraków, 1st ed.
  8. Ziemia Kłodzka, mapa turystyczna, 1:60 000, 2005. Ed. K. and R. Kiełtyka. Demart, Warszawa.

Accepted for print: 22.03.2018

Jacek Górski
Institute of Geoinformation and Cartography, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Olsztyn, Poland
ul. R. Prawocheńskiego 15
10-720 Olsztyn
email: jastagor@moskit.uwm.edu.pl

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