Due to economic considerations, environmental protection should be realized by active prevention which should always have priority over the costly solution of land rehabilitation at a later stage. In order to do this, we need to know not only about the sensitivity of the land in question, but equally about the damaging "antropogene" effect.
Cartography plays a very important role in studying these issues jointly, as well as their spatial effects on each other. The thematic atlas provides a graphic and clear facility to compare the natural and economic geographical characteristics, the area sensitivity, i.e. environment utilization and its effects on the land-surface, of any geographical unit of land.
The presentation by way of maps can be considered an unique method to study environmental effects - as in this way we can assess the potential spatial consequences of environment utilisation. Also the demonstration by maps focuses attention on the fact that identical or similar social factors do not necessarily result in the same environmental changes or consequences.
The data given in the thematic maps is designed to give an introduction into the inner characteristics, the structure and functions of natural and social phenomena which demonstrate spatial effect and which relate to the surface of the land - it follows that cartography must play a very important part in the analytical study of environmental sciences. In applying cartographical methods there lies unparalleled possibilities to study and discover the relationship between the cause and effect of social changes and their environmental consequences as well as in forecasting the spatial effects of the known influence-mechanisms.
The current study and analysis of the Ráckevei-üdülőkörzet area, which is particularly affected by environmental problems, is the first attempt to achieve this.
A joint examination of the talus of the river Danube, with no impermeable overlaid formations, and of the depressive effect of water extraction by the City Waterworks (Fővárosi Vízművek), demonstrate the area`s real sensitivity to environmental pollution. Furthermore we can see how much the air pollution from the oil refinery at Százhalombatta also adds to the problems of the region. This air pollution via rainfall (can) return(s) to the surface or even to underground water.
By comparing demographical data with information relating to the
operation of the public utilities we can not only project the
level of sewage water, i.e. its quantity affecting the
groundwater, but also we can gauge with great accuracy the total
quantity of waste to be produced by any community. This data also
helps us to gauge the levels of water extracted and transferred
from this area, for example how much infiltration/seepage can
replace extracted/transferred water, and if the rainfall is less
then the possible evaporation.
These are but only a few examples. Joint analysis of the maps ca n provide an opportunity to identify further environmentally important connections.
The pages of this atlas represent data collected in 1990 and record the environmental conditions of that year.
We believe that processing the environmental characteristics of the Ráckevei-üdülőkörzet area in a thematical cartographical manner is a major step towards examining the real inter-relations between environmental processes within the area and how they affect and influence each other.