Reconnaissance maps 1776 - 1805
Krigsarkivet (The Military Archives of Sweden)

During the reign of King Gustav III a wide-ranging military mapping of Finland was begun. The mapping was based on the geographical maps drawn by the civilian surveyors. The work began in 1776 in the surrounding area of Helsinki. The map division, where the different map pages connected, was used for the first time. The land was sectioned into lines of squares and each square had its own code number. A finished map page was about in the scale of 1:40,000 which was a fairly useful scale in its accuracy, but also suited as a general map for military purposes. Further special maps were drawn on strategically important places, such as passes and crossings. Topographical changes were marked in reconnaissance maps with various shadings. The maps showed settlements, roads, woodlands and features with military importance in general.

Because the military maps were unfinished when the Finnish war of 1808 began, strategic decisions were mainly based on Samuel Hermelin's general map.

In the end the maps were not as wide-ranging as they were intended to be, even though the work took several decades. In central Finland, the mapping reaches the areas of Kotka and Loviisa right up to the northern parts of Äänekoski, but in the west, for example in the Jämsä area, no maps were drawn. There are two maps from the Muurame area as examples; one is a slightly unfinished reconnaissance map and one a special map. It should be mentioned that the reconnaissance maps were published as an atlas in the year 1989.

Copy: Heikki Rantatupa
Source: Timo Alanen - Saulo Kepsu: Kuninkaan kartasto Suomesta 1776 – 1805