Jämsä area on general maps

During organised land surveying since the 17th century, mapping of the Swedish realm began with drawing of general maps. The first Swedish general map was drawn in the year 1626, when the organiser of Swedish and Finnish land surveys, Andreas Bureus, published an amazingly accurate map of Scandinavia, the Orbis Arctoi Nova et Accurate. Even though representation of the shore line and location of towns were accurate on the map, there was almost no information about inland geography. The situation improved in the year 1688 when a new Swedish and Finnish general map was published by the head land surveyor, Carl Gripenhjelm.

In the 18th century new general maps were mostly published for military use. The Gripenhjelm map was updated, and during the war in 1742 a new road and waterways map was published. After the war in 1747 a new general map was drawn according to the order of von Rosen, Governor General of Finland. The map would be used to improve the financial situation of Finland after the Treaty of Turku in 1743. Right at the end of the century, the greatest achievement in mapping under Swedish rule was published, the series of maps drawn by the director of the mountain college, Samuel Hermelin, the so-called Hermelin atlas.

At the same time, general maps were drawn for military use and wide-ranging mapping for the reconnaissance maps (1776 - 1805) was under way. It would be decades before the Hermelin general map was replaced with a new general map in the 1860s, of which reprints were made up until the 1950s.

Copy: Heikki Rantatupa