Hotmail  |  Gmail  |  Yahoo  |  Justice Mail
powered by Google

Add JFNC Google Bar Button to your Browser Google Bar Group  
Welcome To Justice For North Caucasus Group

Log in to your account at Justice For North Caucasus eMail system.

Request your eMail address

eMaill a Friend About This Site.

Google Translation



Window OWindow On Eurasia: Russian Map Makers Struggle To Overcome Longstanding Tradition Of Geographic Secrecyn Eurasia: Russian Map Makers Struggle To Overcome Longstanding Tradition Of Geographic Secrecy

posted by eagle on June, 2010 as Imperialism


Window on Eurasia: Russian Map Makers Struggle to Overcome Longstanding Tradition of Geographic Secrecy
Paul Goble

Staunton, June 24 – The Russian government has ended its cartographic monopoly, thus opening the way for dozens of private firms to enter the three billion US dollar annual market in Russian maps, but the longstanding Soviet tradition of secrecy about geography continues to cast a shadow over even these private enterprises.
In an article in "Kommersant-Dengi” this week, Dmitry Chizov describes what he says is the ongoing "geographic discovery of Russia,” one in which for the first time both Russians and foreigners can finally obtain accurate information about specific locations in the Russian Federation (
On April 1, Chizov reports, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that "maps must be free and generally accessible lest the modernization of the economy become simply impossible.” And that directive was institutionalized in May when the Federal Cartographic Service, Rosreestr, launched the first Russian cadastre information site,
The site currently posts online maps on land units in 17 federal subjects – the rest are slated to go up before the end of 2010, Chizov says -- at scales ranging from 1:1,000,000 to 1:25,000, a step that should promote expansion of the Russian cartographic market, which brought in 2.92 billion US dollars in 2008, but only about half that last year because of the crisis. 
The "drivers” for this expansion are housing and business construction, government plats, GLONASS systems, natural resources exploration, Internet firms, and so on, Chizov says, and all of them have an interest in accurate maps, something that the continuing influence of Soviet secrecy in this area has played "an evil joke” on contemporary people.
Because the Soviet system classified almost all maps and sometimes issued maps that were incorrect, each ministry and agency tended to produce its own maps, with little reference to what others were doing. Today, Chizov writes, that past has led to many inaccuracies and a serious shortage of maps, especially at the regional level.
"Accurate geographic maps,” the journalist continues, "for a long time were almost the most protected secret of Soviet and then of Russian power.” Anyone who wanted an accurate map, if he wasn’t in the military or the security agencies, was viewed as "the most evil enemy of the government.”
Chizov says that it may be difficult to imagine now, "but still in the mid-1990s, workers in the special services” were upset with efforts by network companies who used GPS navigators.” The special services’ concerns were ultimately ignored, but "obtaining exact topographic data did not become easier.”
At that time, the Federal Cartographic Agency, Roskartografia, "in essence declared itself the only legal owner of all geographic maps of Russia.” That meant in practice that any company was supposed to pay a fee, something that didn’t always happen, despite the threat of court actions against them.
Situated within the transportation ministry, Roskartografia maintained close ties with the military topographic administration of the General Staff, Chizov reports, "and as a result defended the interests of the defense capacity of the country.” That means that the Russian military has a veto on many cartographic questions.
Ivan Nechayev, executive director of Russian Navigation Technology, told the journalist that "cartography was a secret sphere and companies involved in business in border oblasts had to obtain licenses. Until very recently, the creation of maps was the prerogative of the state. Recently, commercial companies have been able to get involved in that.”
"But other than such monsters as Google with its multi-billion dollar budget, no one can allow himself to get involved in cartography” without regard to the attitude of the state. As a result, one of Chizov’s colleagues reported, "relations between the state and cartography even today cannot be called rosy.”
That colleague recalled that not long ago, he took a photograph out of the window of a small plane. And as a result, he "’almost landed in jail. It turned out, in the course of [his] photography session, he had unintentionally photographed a secret site. But the thing was that he himself could not possibly know about that: the object in question was secret!’”

comments (0)

1 - 1 of 1

Post comment

Your name*

Email address*


Verification code*


New Posts

Search Imperialism



 january 2015

 march 2014

 november 2013

 september 2013

 july 2013

 march 2013

 february 2013

 january 2013

 december 2012

 november 2012

 september 2012

 july 2012

 april 2012

 february 2012

 july 2011

 june 2011

 april 2011

 march 2011

 february 2011

 january 2011

 december 2010

 november 2010

 october 2010

 september 2010

 august 2010

 july 2010

 june 2010

 may 2010

 april 2010

 march 2010

 february 2010

 january 2010

 december 2009

 november 2009

 october 2009

 september 2009

 august 2009

 july 2009

 june 2009

 may 2009

 april 2009

 march 2009

 february 2009

 december 2008

 november 2008

 october 2008

 september 2008

 august 2008

 july 2008

 june 2008

 may 2008

 april 2008

 march 2008

 february 2008

 january 2008

 december 2007

 november 2007

 october 2007

 september 2007

 august 2007

 july 2007

 june 2007

 may 2007

 april 2007

 march 2007

 february 2007

 january 2007

 december 2006

 november 2006

 october 2006

 september 2006

 august 2006

 july 2006

 june 2006

 may 2006

 april 2006

 march 2006

 february 2006

 january 2006

 december 2005

 november 2005

 october 2005

 september 2005

 august 2005

 july 2005

 june 2005

 may 2005

 april 2005

 january 2005

 july 2000

Acknowledgement: All available information and documents in "Justice For North Caucasus Group" is provided for the "fair use". There should be no intention for ill-usage of any sort of any published item for commercial purposes and in any way or form. JFNC is a nonprofit group and has no intentions for the distribution of information for commercial or advantageous gain. At the same time consideration is ascertained that all different visions, beliefs, presentations and opinions will be presented to visitors and readers of all message boards of this site. Providing, furnishing, posting and publishing the information of all sources is considered a right to freedom of opinion, speech, expression, and information while at the same time does not necessarily reflect, represent, constitute, or comprise the stand or the opinion of this group. If you have any concerns contact us directly at:

Page Last Updated: {Site best Viewed in MS-IE 1024x768 or Greater}Copyright © 2005-2009 by Justice For North Caucasus ®