A new collection of historical materials linked to the Web mapping system appeared on the Geoportal of the Russian Geographical Society. This time, we are talking about the round-the-world sea voyages of Russian sailors in the first half of the 19th century.
Another project of the RGS Geoportal is called "Atlases of Russian Circumnavigation". This is an extensive collection of old nautical charts, coastal sketches and engravings from the famous circumnavigations of Ivan Kruzenshtern, Yuri Lisyansky, Otto Kotzebue and other explorers. Today, they are brought together and "superimposed" on an online map. Anyone can click on any point on the travel route and see this place as the famous travelers of the past saw it.
The period of publication of marine atlases dates back to the first half of the 19th century. It is interesting to trace how the contours of the coastline were refined and information about the coastal relief was supplemented. Obviously, the new data made navigation much easier.
For example, you can compare the maps of the Kuril Islands. The earliest was compiled during the travel of Ivan Kruzenshtern in 1805. The islands are plotted on it – only the general outlines are clear. And on the map of the northern Kuril Islands, compiled by Mikhail Tebenkov in 1849, the contours are already more detailed, small islands not previously indicated had been added.
In addition to information about the exploration of certain water areas in regions that were difficult to access at that time, the published maps contain historical toponyms. Currently, many of them are rarely used or almost forgotten.
The Geoportal of the Russian Geographical Society is an electronic resource that contains collections of historical, topographic and special cartographic materials from the funds of the Russian Geographical Society and partner organizations of the Society. The formation of the cartographic collection of the Russian Geographical Society began from the moment of its foundation in 1845. Today it has more than 40 thousand unique atlases and maps and is regularly updated.