Mountain Cartography at the Cartographic Institut of Catalonia

Blanca Baella & Maria Pla
Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya
Parc de Montjuïc
E-08038 Barcelona
Telephone 34 93 5671500, FAX 34 93 5671567


Catalonia, with a surface of approximately 32.000 square kilometers, has an orography basically mountainous and more than a half of the landscape is higher than 500 meters. Its strategic position in the Mediterranean region, in the route between central Europe and Africa, propitiated the elaboration of cartography from the Middle Ages. The mountainous character of the orography forced since early the production of detailed mountain cartography.

At the present, the most advanced technologies are implemented at the Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya to obtain a wide range of cartographic products. Taking into account that the landscape is basically mountainous, most of the topographic, thematic and image cartography produced at the ICC, can be considered mountain cartography.

The ICC cartographic production covering Catalonia is based in the generation of digital topographic databases and orthoimages between 1:5.000 and 1:250.000 scales. The maps are derived from these data, adding in some cases thematic information.
From 1994, the ICC has also been developing cartographic projects in South America, covering large mountainous regions at medium and small scales.

The presentation will show examples of the ICC production workflows to obtain these digital databases and maps, focused mainly on mountainous areas of Catalonia and other countries.