Quantifying the completeness of and correspondence between two historical maps: a case study from nineteenth-century Palestine

Schaffer, Gad, Peer, Mor and Levin, Noam (2015) Quantifying the completeness of and correspondence between two historical maps: a case study from nineteenth-century Palestine. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 43 2: 154-175. doi:10.1080/15230406.2015.1029519


Author Schaffer, Gad
Peer, Mor
Levin, Noam
Title Quantifying the completeness of and correspondence between two historical maps: a case study from nineteenth-century Palestine
Journal name Cartography and Geographic Information Science
ISSN 1545-0465
1523-0406
Publication date 2015-04-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/15230406.2015.1029519
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 43
Issue 2
Start page 154
End page 175
Total pages 22
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Reconstructing past landscapes from historical maps requires quantifying the accuracy and completeness of these sources. The accuracy and completeness of two historical maps of the same period covering the same area in Israel were examined: the 1:63,360 British Palestine Exploration Fund map (1871–1877) and the 1:100,000 French Levés en Galilée (LG) map (1870). These maps cover the mountainous area of the Galilee (northern Israel), a region with significant natural and topographical diversity, and a long history of human presence. Land-cover features from both maps, as well as the contours drawn on the LG map, were digitized. The overall correspondence between land-cover features shown on both maps was 59% and we found that the geo-referencing method employed (transformation type and source of control points) did not significantly affect these correspondence measures. Both maps show that in the 1870s, 35% of the Galilee was covered by Mediterranean maquis, with less than 8% of the area used for permanent agricultural cropland (e.g., plantations). This article presents how the reliability of the maps was assessed by using two spatial historical sources, and how land-cover classes that were mapped with lower certainty and completeness are identified. Some of the causes that led to observed differences between the maps, including mapping scale, time of year, and the interests of the surveyors, are also identified.
Keyword Accuracy
Completeness
Geo-referencing
GIS
Historical maps
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Non HERDC
 
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