The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

Military-Topographical Survey of European Russia

The systematic topographical mapping (at the scale of 3-versts (2-miles) per inch) of the Russian Empire began in 1846. Though the main survey and cartographic work was completed by 1863, it remained an ongoing project through the Soviet period. Within that larger initiative, there were several smaller projects. One of those was the mapping of European Russia. The 509 maps produced as part of this series were oriented to the Pulkovo meridian (the longitude of the Pulkovo Observatory near St. Petersburg) and executed at a scale of 1:126,000 (1 centimeter = 1,260 meters). In other words, they are large-scale maps containing an astonishing amount of spatial information. 

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