Site hosted by Build your free website today!

A little story about a great map

On a my favourite map in my collection is the map of Pansner:

"Karta Casti Srednej Azii Soderzascaja Zemli Kirgis Kaisakov, Karakalpakov, Truchmencov i Bucharcov
Socinena Pri Depo Kart. (Ca. 1:2 250 000), [Sankt Petersburg], 1816

It's a map in 9 single sheets (about 41 x 33 cm) what gives a map of 123 x 99 cm if you stitch them together. I did it using my computer and the result you can see here.
The whole map exists as a print-ready offsetfilm too (stochastic raster not the "normal" frequency of 150 lpi!) in size 130 x 100 cm. So if there is s
Sponsor somewhere in the world I would be happy to print it in the same high quality as we produce all our maps here in Switzerland ;-)! And with a bit more of research in Russia one can produce an additional comment to the map.

The first mention of the map I found was of Julius Klaproth in an article called

"Observations sur la carte de l'Asie, publiée en 1822, par M. Arrowsmith,
J. Klaproth, Paris 1826

In comparing the map of Arrowsmith with different recent sources, he also used the map of Pansner and he found no good words about Arrowsmith's map, kindly speaking! I hope soon to include Klaproth's text in my Digital Archive and to present it here so that everyone who understand the french language could read his fascinating pamphlet.

Another source is the very interesting book of Fedcina about the mapping of Central Asia. Unfortunately only in russian. Here you find the map in the context with the development of mapping in that period. There is also a a reprint of sheet 4 (Lake Aral)

"Kak sozdavala´s karta Srednej Azii,
V.N. Fedcina. - Moskva: "Nauka", 1967"

These are the two main sources I know about the map. But first it was Mr. Alexei Postnikov who gave me the first hint about the map.
It could be that the map once belonged to Julius Klaproth himself because of the french writing on the back.

Who knows ...