Permanent GPS Network


The Department of Geography is the successor of the Institute of Geography at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and as of 1st July 2010 it became part of the newly established National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (NIGG – BAS).

The Institute of Geography was established as an independent unit within the system of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 1950, while its first director was corresponding member Zhivko Galabov (22 June 1908 – 7 December 1993) – a professor of Physical Geography and Geomorphology at Sofia University “St. KlimentOhridski”. At the beginning, the Institute’s activities were organized in two divisions: “Physical Geography” – headed by corresponding member Prof. ZhivkoGalabov, and “Economic Geography” – headed by academician AnastasBeshkov. Until the beginning of the 1970s, the Institute mainly carried out research in the field of physical and economic geography of modern Bulgaria. The results were published in the monograph titled “Geography of Bulgaria”, comprising two volumes: 1. Physical Geography (1966) and 2. Economic Geography (1961). In the period between 1972 and 1988, the Institute of Geography operated within the framework of the Unified Earth Sciences Center where it occupied a notable place as it studied the interaction between both nature and society in Bulgaria and thus stood out in comparison to other units within the Earth Sciences group, since all the rest only explore individual elements or aspects of the country’s nature, population, economy, zoning, and regional development. The Institute of Geography was also one of the first scientific units to deal with the different aspects of environmental protection. The number of scientists continued to grow during that period, leading to the establishment of additional divisions, such as “Geomorphology and Cartography”, “Climatology and Hydrology”, “Landscape science and environmental protection”, “Socio-Economic Geography” and “Geography of the Population and Settlements”. At the beginning of the 1980s, the Institute coordinated the largest complex study of the natural and socio-economic potential of the mountains in Bulgaria, the results of which were published in the two-volume monograph “Geography of Bulgaria”: Vol. 1 – “Nature and Resources” (1989) and Vol. 2 – “Population and Economy” (1990). In that same period, the “Atlas of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria” was issued (1973), as well as the first three-volume work in the field of regional geography in Bulgaria: Vol. 1 – “Physical Geography: Natural conditions and resources” (1981), Vol. 2 – “Economic Geography: Population, Settlements and Economic Branches” (1982) and Vol. 3 – “Physical Geographical and Socio-Economic Regionalization” (1989).

The political and economic reforms in Bulgaria following 1989, gave a new start to the Institute of Geography: the existing divisions in the field of physical geography were all united into a single “Physical Geography division, while the socio-economic ones were united into a division called “Economic and Social Geography”. In 2008, a new specialized unit was established under the name of “Geoinformation Center” (GIS). These structural changes aimed to improve the infrastructure and to stimulate the interaction with both national and international scientific organizations and networks. The results of the scientific research during that period were published in two monographs: “Geography of Bulgaria: Physical Geography and Socio-Economic Geography” (1997) and “Geography of Bulgaria” (2002).

Since its establishment, the Institute of Geography (and later the Department of Geography) has been publishing a scientific academic journal of the latest research in the field of geography: between 1951 and 1974 – the scientific series of “Proceedings of the Institute of Geography” was published, while from 1974 on – the scientific academic journal has been published under the name “Problems of Geography“.

As of 1st July 2010, when the Institute was transformed into a comprising unit of the National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography (NIGGG – BAS), three divisions exist – “Physical Geography”, “Economic and Social Geography” and “Geographic Information Systems” (GIS).