Authors of Kazakhstan atlas awarded

Dec 14. Kazpravda. Almaty

By Natalia Valuyskaya

Authors of Kazakhstan atlas awardedKazakhstan as an independent state has its National Atlas, made by a group of scientists who received a state award for it. Director of the Institute of Geography, MES professor AHMETKAL MEDEU shares on this ambitious project.

– The National Atlas is a set of thematically and geographically united maps, created in an independent state for map-framing of its sovereignty. It is a standing international practice. It is an important analytical material, source of information and knowledge for the socioeconomic development of a nation, the necessary attribute of the national sovereignty. President Nursultan Nazarbayev praised the Institute of Geography for a series of researches in mapping: the National Atlas of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Atlas of natural and technological hazards and risks of emergencies and the Atlas of Mangistau region. On the President Decree of 19 November this year, a group of scientists was awarded for it in the field of science and technology.

That’s how this project came about.  In 2001, in one of the scientific councils, brainstorming the development of geographical science in Kazakhstan, we identified the four focus areas: first-water resources and water security, second — the objects of socioeconomic significance and their protection against natural hazards and disasters, third — environmental problems of natural resources use, assessment of the natural resources and the fourth –  creation of atlas maps.

The Atlas is 3-part. The first part is the maps of natural conditions and resources, second- of the economy and society, and the third one is ecological. In total there are 353 maps in the atlas. It is published in three languages: Kazakh, Russian and English, in accordance with the trilingual principle, demanded by the head of state, and is a 100% national product, made solely by the home professionals, basing on verified data.

Reliable information was obtained from the government agencies, ministries, academic institutions. Sophisticated computer programs were applied in mapping and the printing works are on a high level.

Apart from our institute, over 20 research institutes and organizations of Kazakhstan participated in the atlas mapping that was based on thorough field studies, aerial and satellite photographs, a variety of statistical materials. And most helpful in it was also the experience of our predecessors- developers of the 1965 Atlas of the Kazakh SSR, also world experience in the atlas mapping.

The National Atlas was given to all the state bodies, the President’s Administration, ministries, Parliament , libraries , major universities and schools.  As it was also published in English, it is in demand abroad and was acquired by theU.S. Congress Library, British Library, National Library of Japan and China, libraries of some universities- Munich , Alaska, and others.

The atlas maps are used by the international companies developing natural resources in Kazakhstan, working in the Kazakh part of the Caspian Sea, , in the geological and geophysical studies, in oil and gas industry.

The atlases contribute to the spread of analytical cartographic information about Kazakhstan.