Olof Borgström: Geographisk charta över Jämsä sochn, Jämsä parish map 1752
(Riksarkivet. Lantmäteriets leveranser 1850, nr 92)

Inspired by the geographical measurements done by the French expedition in the Tornionjoki river valley in 1736 - 1737, wide-ranging geographical mapping was started in Finland. After the mid-1700s, Finland had as many as three different survey commissions, each with dozens of surveyors. It was the task of these so-called commission surveyors to draw geographical maps of every parish which could then be used to make the most of the country's economical resources. The general land reparcelling taking place at the same time delayed the geographical surveys, as some of the surveyors were transferred to deal with the reparcelling. However, a parish map was drawn from almost a hundred Finnish parishes. The maps were drawn in the so called commission scale, which was 1:20,000. Parish maps were large, because the custom was to draw one parish on one paper, and so the finished map could be several square metres in size. This is why map reductions were made usually in the scale of 1:80,000 which made the maps more useful. This was also done with the Jämsä parish map. The Finnish parish maps are mostly in Swedish archives (Riksarkivet, Krigsarkivet).

The Jämsä parish map was drawn by the member of the old or first commission, Swedish-born Olof Borgström, during the years 1751 - 1752. The map is 290 x 183 centimetres in size, so in the following pictures it is shown in sections. Since the parish map had to serve for improvement of the national economy, exact instructions for drawing it were given. The surveyor had to define the parish borders, the area of land and meadow, estimate the amount of swamps, worthless mountains, swidden, lakes and rivers, map out forest fire areas and mark and name terrain points, roads, boat routes and other paths, houses, new farms, crofts and military crofts, churches, mills and basically everything that would affect the economy of the parish. There was no way yet to describe the topographies of the terrain, but hills and rocks were drawn on the map as dark blobs. There was still much improvement needed in the accuracy of the map, but it was a lot better that the previous ones. The parish borders were in dispute in the direction of Kuivasmäki/Petäjävesi, so Borgström drew alternative borders.

Copy: Heikki Rantatupa