enter image description here

I'm sure 1 is a road, but what are those bumps on the side? I'm guessing 2 is a footpath. I have no idea what 3 is, if you don't know what it is, fine, let's leave it at that. I searched for what might be 4 and my best guess is that it is some kind of embankment.

It's a German map of Memel city around year 1921-1945

This is the place where I live now, I can literally see these trees still standing along side what is now paved road from my home window, the trees are huge now, probably 15 meters high, I found older maps of this location like 1890-1910 and the trees are still marked on the side of the road. It's quite interesting to find out more about the history of the locaction you are living in.

And to add more about #2, I know this location pretty good and I know that there is a drainage way or sewerage coming out right in to the river and I'm pretty sure it's that straight diagonal line right above and slightly to the left of where the #2 is marked, or maybe my distance calculation is wrong and this is not that drainage way I'm talking about.

  • 2
    Does the map has a name. where do you have it from?
    – Iris
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 14:37
  • Without a source or legend, it's hard to tell. With a location, it may be possible to georeference it to historical topo maps and determine for sure.
    – MaryBeth
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 14:43
  • 3
    I guess that 1 is a street (with trees), 2 might be a path, but also a seperation of agricultural fields or trenches, 3 might be one or more buildings and 4 might show topography. But this are all guesses!
    – Iris
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 14:46
  • I agree with @Iris, on most counts, with one possible exception: I think #2 is a property line that coincides with a stream.
    – elrobis
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 14:50
  • 1
    It appears you have two accounts, you may have accidentally created the second one when you attempted to log in. You should merge the two. Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 14:52

4 Answers 4


Here you find the map including the legend. The legend is in German, but I am German, so I tried to translate it as precise as possible.

I think (and please @Giancarlo correct me, if you disagree):

  • 1 is "Reichsstraße, ausgebaut". That means a well-developed street.
  • 2 is propably a sort of drainage system or stream (thank you @AndreJ). It is not named in the legend but the connection between the river and the pond (=Teich) in the legend is an undulated line. An interpretation as "III Feld- und Waldweg" (=not well-developed, small field or forest road) or "Grenzgraben, Grenzwall" (= boundary trench or wall) (@ Giancarlo) is probably wrong because they are both illustrated with solid, straight lines.

  • 3 is not listed in the legend, but I am sure it is a farm (or a other collection of buildings)

  • 4 is the shading of hills for 1-5 degree after "Müfflings' system", >5 degree after "Lehmanns' system". In addition numbers show the height in m above sea level ("Höhe über Normal-Null in Meter").
  • Just to complement this answer with another link to a map of Memel as the one suggested does not work for me.
    – Joseph
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 15:38
  • I disagree on #2, because tracks are solid lines, and drains have an undulated line. They might cross streets with culverts, which have no sign on this map scale.
    – AndreJ
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 16:21
  • There is also a similar legend for #2 lower from where you looked, it says Grenzgraben, Grenzwall
    – Giancarlo
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 19:11
  • @Joseph, for the link I posted, I recommend to right-click and save image The map is 66 mb and need its time to download. "Your" map is slightly different, by the way.
    – Iris
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 8:39
  • @ AndreJ, you are right. I*ll correct my answer. The "drain/stream" between the river and the pond (Teich) is in the legend an undulated line.
    – Iris
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 8:47

German surveyors did everything according to rules. For the 1:100.000 Karte des deutschen Reiches, you can find it here:




#1 are major roads, no need for trees. Tree symbols are commonly used for 1:25000 maps.

#2 should be a drain (Nasse Gräben). Parcel Information is more likely on scales of 1:5000, but not 1:100 000.

By the way, you can find a more detailed 1:25000 map of the same place at http://igrek.amzp.pl/details.php?id=8303 (Direct link http://www.amzpbig.com/maps/0393_Gotzhofen_1939.jpg)

  • Wow, thanks for that map, I was really looking for more detailed map of that area, this is perfect, thank you!
    – Giancarlo
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 12:58
  1. is a road (in large scale old maps it is common to have trees on the road) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Hyde_Park_London_from_1833_Schmollinger_map.jpg or http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1EaS0FFovLs/T1eo3mLLjJI/AAAAAAAAAwg/W-dqlHY3sxs/s1600/Monkey+Puzzle+Tramore+Road+old+map.jpg

  2. are most likely foot paths, maybe canals, but they are def not natural streams,

  3. probably a building footprint

  4. lines indicating change in grade (ie hills)


Here are the most probable parts shown on the map :

1)on a Belgian map at this scale, the dark spots would be trees along the road, so the whole is a tree-lined drive. I guss that it is the same here.

2) difficult to say. Could be a drain or a small path

3) buildings in a square: probably a farm

4) indicates small bumps, embankments...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.