In the Karjalan Kartat (Maps of Karelia) online service, there are maps of the Karelian Isthmus and Ladoga Karelia drawn up by the National Land Survey and the Topographic Service of the Finnish military before 1939.
The service includes topographic maps and parish maps of Karelia in scale 1:20,000 and smaller-scale topographic maps and economic maps in scales 1:100,000 and 1:400,000, which depict settlement, roads and terrain conditions as they were before the Winter War.
Contents of the service
In our Karjalan kartat (Maps of Karelia) online service, you can view and download old maps of the Karelia.
The website contains four map layers: two topographic maps (scales 1:100 000 and 1:20 000), a municipal map (1:20 000) and a general map.
Due to the historical background of the maps, some of them do not cover the entire Karelian area.
After the end of World War II, Finland was forced to cede most of the province of Karelia to the Soviet Union. The ceded area consisted of three cities: Vyborg, Sortavala and Käkisalmi (now Priozersk) and two boroughs; Koivisto (now Primorsk) and Lahdenpohja (now Lakhdenpokhya). A total of 39 Karelian rural municipalities were completely and 21 partly ceded.
The Allied Control Commission requested in October 1944 that maps showing the areas ceded to the Soviet Union must be handed over to the Soviets. A total of 16 million map sheets were handed over within the requested time.
Topographic map 1:20 000
The National Board of Survey and Topografikunta (the Finnish corps of topographical engineers) produced topographic maps in scale 1:20 000 during 1918 - 1944 on two-colour or four-colour map sheets covering an area of 10 km x 10 km. No map sheets of the northern parts of Ladoga Karelia were produced. A few map sheets of the western parts of the Karelian Isthmus are missing as well.
The maps show the most common topographic data including contour lines and place names. The maps contain the most detailed and extensive map presentation of the area. The map is the precursor of the current basic map 1:20 000.
Topographic map 1:100 000
The National Board of Survey and Topografikunta produced four-colour topographic maps in scale 1:100 000 during 1928 - 1951. One map sheet covers an area of 30 km x 40 km, the equivalent of twelve map sheets in scale 1:20 000. The maps show the most common topographic data including contour lines and place names. The presentation is less detailed than that of the 1:20 000 maps; however, one sheet permits to study a much larger area. The maps cover the entire Isthmus and Ladoga Karelia.
The maps provide a good and a reasonably detailed view of settlements and the natural environment. They are well suited to e.g. study villages.
Municipal map 1:20 000
The National Board of Survey produced monochromatic municipal maps in 1:20 000 scale during 1825 -1950. The maps were produced per municipality during 1825 - 1915 and per map sheet during 1916 - 1950. From 1927 onwards municipal maps were published as sheets covering an area of 10 km x 10 km. About 100 map sheets are available of the municipal maps published during Finnish independence and covering parts of the Karelian Isthmus and Ladoga Karelia.
The municipal maps show settlements and natural formations as well as cadastral borders and place names, but not elevations in the terrain.
Municipal maps are most suitable for studying settlements, ownership, the road network and waterways.
Economic map 1:100 000
The National Board of Survey produced economic maps in scale 1:100 000 during 1912 - 1955. The maps have been printed in monochrome, two colours and five colours. The size of the map sheets has also varied; in maps published after 1934 one sheet has covered an area of 30 km x 40 km.
The maps are partly based on historical land consolidation maps and show settlements, cultivated fields, road networks, marshlands and place names of the time when the map was published.
General map 1:400 000
The map is suitable for studying settlements, road networks, waterways and place names at the provincial level. The maps which are available in digital format date from 1940 - 1942.
General map 1:2 000 000
The National Board of Survey produced this map in 1942. It shows Finland before the cession of Karelia and other areas as well as Eastern Karelia.
The map shows the largest population centres, the main road network and the greatest waterways.
The map service is for personal use only. Commercial use is prohibited. The programmatic copying of map data is prohibited. The interactive maps provided by the interactive map service can be used freely for non-commercial purposes.