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International cooperation and technology transfer
Mussio, Luigi

uncertain between the new 1:50.000 maps editing
and the updating of the old l:25.000's.
The land register large-scale map is, on the
contrary, completely neglected, since it is the result
of the digitizing of the old sheets, that is a not less
doubtful operation.
We have written too often that passing from
analogue data to numeric ones is an inconsiderate
operation: the recall of Porro and of his projects
made hundred-fifty years ago (7) is obligatory.
Anyway a third part of the 1:300.000 map sheets
have been submitted, with the taxpayers money, to
this unbecoming operation.
Thus, what was the purpose? At the last SIFET
national meeting in Bolzano, an influential
executive said and underlined, (naturally and
luckily) disapproving, that the 75 per cent of the
Italian communes general town planning (PRG) are
still nowadays drawn up on more or less
manipulated land register maps.
But a town planning - and in particular a PRG -
cannot and must not be drawn up on a non
"regular" map, that is, not only missing the heights,
but it also not completely describing the
topographic planimetry, which is the primary aim
of a map.
But the worst fact is that the maps are very poorly
updated; moreover, they are still in a Cassini-
Soldner projection and not in the Gauss-Boaga
national one, therefore the overlay of a map at the
same scale, but plotted from recent flights, creates
many difficulties. The so called "best fitting", that
is an affine transformation, is not an operation that
all municipal technicians can do, and, anyway, it
twists and spoils the map without naturally
updating it, if this operation could even be
considered correct (8).
Non-rarely something worst happens: maps are
enlarged at 1:25.000, or larger scales, level curves
are increased, making them badly suitable to the
land register map. This terrible proceeding is still
used, in information technology time, forgetting
what we call "uncertainty" of the level curves,
plotted only at sight in many "Tavolette" at the
time of their survey with RMS of 10, 20, or 30
We can also find people who remake others
drawings of the maps, and who think, in this way,
to be assured of their job's quality.
This is perhaps the most incisive point of this
paper. How many apparently well traced maps
hide, in reality, shoddy works, simply derived from
other plans originally at a smaller scale and badly
enlarged. Sometimes it happens they come from
scanned maps integrated into a digital model
(DEM, DHM) in spite of the tester who (when he is
present) is often someone not competent.
In fact, the matter of cartographic test still appears
considerably topical and very important at the aim
of the product quality. (9) (10)
But even when they correctly work, what a waste
of resources, if we think of the lack, not only of
any programming form, but also of pure census.
Maybe they are either simply replicating already
existing maps or digitising old plans, which could
have already and correctly been numerical?
We have already said that state official maps are in
bad conditions; but what can we say about those of
the fifteen ordinary regions, of the four under
special statute and of the two Autonomous
We don't have any recent data, also for the
difficulty of obtaining them sure and reliable; but
we estimate that not even half of the mentioned
boards owns an up-to-date and efficient regional
technical map (CTR).
We think that (even considering the difference of
grid, scale, appearance, symbolism, size and digital
or just analogue structure, that means the difficulty
of planning with a large scale between close
regions) this is very little for Italy. Italy is an
extensive, especially in latitude, country that has a
really varied territory in terms of mountain
profiles, geological structure, slope appearance and
more or less wide human presence.
Even if we are not dealing here with the
modifications to apply at cartographic plans, we
want to express some considerations about the
delegation to communes of the land register matter
(Land and Register).
The recent law regulates, in fact, the charge of
important land register functions, as "conservation,
utilisation and updating of land and register deeds",
for local boards; and everything must be done after
the constitution of a vague "technical organism".
Besides they want to charge the local boards with a
series of duties that the present communal
technical offices, everywhere in Italy, are not for
sure able to carry out, due either to the low number
of employees and, chiefly, to the lack of the
necessary topographical and cartographic
After the above distressed discussion, which is not
really exaggerated, we express some operative
considerations and some suggestions for the
legislator who could have not understood clearly.
We will explain the planning and project maps: of
course this will be done using some present
operative means, which are already in use by some
firms and by some enlightened boards.
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