EGU General Assembly 2022
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Geological maps for geotourism in Hungary

Gáspár Albert1 and Márton Pál1,2
Gáspár Albert and Márton Pál
  • 1Eötvös Loránd University ELTE, Institute of Cartography and Geoinformatics, Budapest, Hungary (
  • 2Eötvös Loránd University ELTE, Doctoral School of Earth Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

It may seem strange, but the next generation of geological maps could be produced not for geologists, but for the non-expert public! In Hungary, as in most countries, geological maps were created to help find economically important raw materials. However, updates of outdated maps are becoming increasingly rare. Nowadays, exploration geologists do not even usually produce edited maps, as experts obtain information directly from models. With the changing methods, geologists are struggling to find the proper readership for geological maps.

At the same time, a new trend is beginning to unfold, which means a whole new group of people interested in geology. Mining has left behind plenty of well-explored geological sites in many regions that attract the attention of non-experts, simply because they are beautiful and interesting! These geosites, together with the natural attractions of geomorphology, are being exploited by a new branch of tourism: geotourism. The presentation of the most spectacular geosites for tourism and the linking of geology with natural and cultural heritage has led to the emergence of geoparks, which operate under the auspices of UNESCO since 2001.

Geotourists are typically not scientists, and although maps are the most effective way to guide them to geosites, specialized maps are too complicated for them. By reducing the thematic details and increasing the tourism content we can create a geotourist map for them. The genre of geo-hiking map is the most appropriate form of geotourist maps if outdoor activity is involved. These are hiking maps with simplified geological themes to assist individuals and guided walks. The genre appeared in Hungary as early as 1939, but for a very long time, until 2002, no similar map was produced [1, 2]. Subsequently, geotour atlases and hiking maps were published, indicating the genre’s advance [3]. Since the establishment of Hungary's first geopark in 2010, geotour guides have been trained and the demand for map visualization is growing. In addition to guided walks, individual hikers interested in geosites are increasingly common, tracked by interactive query sheets at some of the most popular sites on the Balaton Uplands [4].

Geotourism creates a market for maps and outlines possible ways of using geological maps in the form of geotourism maps. Geotourism, rather than mining, could be the new sector that creates the need for geological mapping, and since geoparks are not only about protecting geological heritage but also about providing education and activating local businesses, this could be more in line with UNESCO SDGs.

[1] Albert, G., Hegedűs, Á. (2021): A geological hiking map curiosity from 1939, Abstr. Int. Cartogr. Assoc., 3, 2,

[2] Albert, G. (2004): Geoscientific results in “tangible” format: the geotourist map. Geodézia és kartográfia, 51(7), 27-30.

[3] Albert, G. (2019): The changing use-cases of medium and large-scale geological maps in Hungary, Proc. Int. Cartogr. Assoc., 2, 4,

[4] Pál, M., Albert, G. (2021): Examining the Spatial Variability of Geosite Assessment and Its Relevance in Geosite Management. Geoheritage 13, 8,

How to cite: Albert, G. and Pál, M.: Geological maps for geotourism in Hungary, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2018,, 2022.

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