Using Historic Maps to Characterize Medieval Field Patterns in the Czech Republic

Authors: Kelly Measom*, University of Denver
Topics: Historical Geography, Cartography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: HGIS, historical geography, historical maps, czech republic
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Delaware A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This project presents a proof of concept of a case study using historical maps from the Czech Republic to characterize tree-line strip field patterns, called hedgerows, in terms of management practices and spatial orientation since their establishment more than 700 years ago. This spatiotemporal characterization contributes a crucial component in the evaluation of the role Czech hedgerows networks have had in sediment transport and soil erosion mitigation over decades to centuries. This research is framed within the developing field of Historical GIS (HGIS), exploring the possibilities and limitations associated with using information from historical geographic sources, such as historical maps, in quantitative and qualitative analysis studies. With this project I aim to use historical maps to collect information on hedgerow use periodically since the 1700s, in an attempt to gather valuable information that will inform and influence ongoing and future geomorphological studies of the landuse in the Czech countryside. Methods include HGIS data collection, accuracy assessments, georeferencing historical map images, and creating spatial datasets from these sources. I will frame this project within the subfield of Historical GIS (HGIS) in examination of this method of using historical geographic information to analyze historical land use change, including the limitations associated with using historical maps as a data source. The question being examined is how can HGIS be used to improve landscape characterization and understanding, knowing the limitations and potential inaccuracies of using historical geographic information.

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