Digital cartography for geoheritage: turning an analogue geotourist map into digital
Geoheritage is the collective noun for the spectacular phenomena of geological and geomorphological landmarks that have to be preserved but also exploited by tourism in sustainable ways. The demonstration and preservation of these landmarks – the geosites – are often done in a geopark, an open area where they can be visited, and interesting facts can be learned of them through information boards. To provide visitors with an overall information of the geopark we need to create a geotourist map. This genre combines the characteristics of traditional tourist maps and geoscientific maps. Its purpose is to help tourists to navigate on the field and provide them with simplified geological content. Our mapping area is the eastern part of the Bakony–Balaton UNESCO Global Geopark in Hungary. An increasing number of tourist use their electronic devices to navigate on the field. Because of the growing need for smart maps we have decided to create two digital editions of our paper map. An OpenLayers-based version is ideal for planning: webpage visitors can easily find hiking trails and roads to the geosites. We have also decided to create the first geopark-thematized Android app in Hungary. It contains major information about geopark events, concepts of geoheritage, visitable geosites and tour guides. The most important feature is the geotourist map that is similar to the web version. With the help of geotourist maps, we are able to provide relevant geospatial information to hikers and visitors in an aesthetic way. These maps also help to raise awareness among people for geological and geomorphological heritage.