The development of the Russian periphery was characterized by the flexibility of the imperial strategy of power in the Early Modern period. Cartographic materials were important in influencing the formation of a spatial model of the region. In the frontier and border zones of Siberia and the north of Central Asia, roads and pathways, as well as their graphical representation on maps, served not only a utilitarian function by providing information about movement routes and trajectories, but also influenced the general concept of the territory by acting as markers for political and economic structures and their borders.
This article focuses on the characteristics of the traffic system description of the south of Western Siberia and the cross-border region in Russian cartographic materials from the first half and middle of the 18th century. The territorial scope of the study is limited to the space of the southern regions of the Ob-Irtysh interfluve area, the regions of the Upper Ob and Upper Irtysh, including parts of the Central Asian territories. The authors concluded that among the directions represented in the maps, the Irtysh meridional road stood out during the first third of the 18th century. Since the late 1720s, the north-eastern and northern roads linking the Altai metallurgical complex with the Kuznetsk, Berdsk, and Moscow tract dominated. Special maps appeared by the middle of the 18th century as a result of the increased importance of the Altai road system, recording the development of transport communication in the region.
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