GIS and Cartography Workgroup

Digital Map of Poland

General Information

Digital Map of Poland is a set of cartographic layers that serve for map editing. The spatial coverage is the whole area of Poland and adjacent parts of the neighbouring countries, at a nominal scale 1:200,000. The accuracy is suitable for paper maps at the same scale, whereas for the purposes of computer use a scale 1:100,000 can be obtained.

All the data is stored in geographic coordinates based on the WGS-84 ellipsoid. The coverage is continuous, allowing for presentation of the whole country or its parts in any given projection. Also, as far as possible, single map objects are continuous, that is not divided into fragments or “tiles”, with the exception of huge objects in landcover and contourlines layers.

The quality of our data has been thoroughly verified in the course of big edition map production, involving editorial work, revisors and readers' contributions.

Selected information about layers

Settlement points are distinguished, identified and named in accordance with the TERYT system, and thus in harmony with the official geographical names.

Rivercourses are identified with hierarchical code, describing location in drainage system. Four additional rivercourse layers exist to improve graphical effect with graduations.

Roads include all sealed and most of unsealed roads significant for transportation network. Segments are described with official national number and categorized into 14 classes. Division into segments not necessarily is concurrent with intersections.

Hipsometry layer consists of 58 classes of closed contour areas (suitable for colour fill). Intervals are 20m up to 400, 40 m up to 800, 50m up to 1600, 100m up to 2600. Nominal scale is appx. 1:300-400.000.

Landmark/Sightseeing layer includes 98 categories of objects significant for cultural heritage and tourism. Also included are border crossings, petrol stations (now outdated) and traffic hazard points.


Layer Spatial type No. objects No. patches Total length [km] Resolution* [km]


Rivercourses line 15 500   154 100 0.18
Lakes area 11 100     0.11
Wetlands area   5 400   0.29
Dikes line 1 688      
Tamy line 134      
Forests area   40 800   0.27
Meadows area   25 700   0.19
Orchards area   3 300   0.25
Contourlines area   60 200   0.27
Height points point 1 248      
Built-up area area   84 900   0.25
Disparsed settlements area 314 000     0.096
Named settlement locations point 43 800      
Roads line 121 400   333 000 0.27
Railroads line 800   29 200  
1st order administrative units (voivodships) area 16      
2nd order administrative units (powiaty) area 436      
3rd order administrative units (gminy) area 3 059      
Landmark/Sightseeing objects point 38 800      

* Average inter-node distance along line gives scale-independent approximation of how detailed the shapes are


The Map is a result of several projects carried out by the Department of Cartography and Geographical Information System. Its first version, at that time at the scale 1:500, 000 was elaborated for the purposes of the Digital Atlas of Poland, and the next one for the Road Map at the scale 1:300,000. The most significant progress, in terms of quantity and quality was made during elaboration of Road Map at the scale of 1:200,000, the base material of which consisted of map extracts from topographic maps at the scale 1:50,000, made by highly qualified cartographers. The whole of material was digitalized in AVISO system.