hiking map

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Example of a hiking map (with contour lines)

Hiking maps are use maps on a large scale range (1: 25,000 to 1: 100,000, for special requirements also above or below) for the direct orientation in the area (comparative map -Wirklichkeit and vice versa).


Hiking maps in today's sense have been produced since the second half of the 19th century and then, as now, achieved an extremely high level of popularity and distribution. The good hiking map was very popular in the GDR . In recent years, electronic media ( GPS , maps on the Internet, maps on CDs or DVDs, etc.) have increasingly been competing with printed maps, but will (not) displace them from the market in the foreseeable future.

Cards and publishers

As one of the most important types of utility maps (mass editions ) in the field of cartography , hiking maps include both print media and electronic media and are produced by official cartography (as special editions of the normal topographical editions or their own product lines) and publisher cartography (at their own risk or on behalf). Maps made by hiking and mountaineering associations themselves have a special position (e.g. Alpine Club maps ).

Free hiking maps

On the basis of OpenStreetMap - the free world map - freely accessible hiking maps are created:

  • 4UMaps.eu
  • Wanderreitkarte.de
  • Marked hiking trails around the world

Good hiking maps show the hiking trails with their markings and the expected level of difficulty on a topographic elevation map . Additional information such as B. restaurants, accommodation, refuges and other important information for hikers. The routes are recorded by hundreds of thousands of volunteers themselves with the GPS device and described in detail - anyone can join in - and appear on the map on a daily basis. Digital maps can be loaded onto handheld GPS devices or smartphones and are thus available to hikers in various zoom levels ("scales") even when they are out and about. The card is under a free license and is free of charge.


  • Stefan Plha (2006): Hiking maps today and tomorrow - development, trends, perspectives. Diploma thesis, University of Vienna. 201 pages, numerous illustrations and maps.

Web links

Wiktionary: hiking map  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations