Assessing accuracy of forest cover information on historical maps Cover Image

Assessing accuracy of forest cover information on historical maps
Assessing accuracy of forest cover information on historical maps

Author(s): Urs Gimmi, Christian Ginzler, Matthias Müller, Achilleas Psomas
Subject(s): Geography, Regional studies, Regional Geography, Historical Geography, Geomatics, Maps / Cartography, Recent History (1900 till today), Interwar Period (1920 - 1939)
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: forest cover change; historical maps; aerial photographs; terrestrial photographs; map accuracy; Swiss Alps;

Summary/Abstract: Assessing the uncertainty of historical map information is a prerequisite for using this source type for land cover reconstructions. We assessed the accuracy of forest cover information from 1930 / 1940 Swiss topographic maps (Siegfried maps) by comparing them with forest cover gained from orthophotos and terrestrial photos from the same period. Orthophotos were considered to contain the true forest cover information and consequently inconsistencies between historical maps and orthophotos were considered as true errors (over or underestimation of the forest cover on the map ). Terrestrial photos reflect the surveyors perspective in the field and we therefore used this source type to develop hypotheses on potential reasons for inaccuracy of map information. Generalized linear models were used to test the hypotheses. The results confirmed our expectation that disagreement between maps is more likely to occur near forest edges, at higher altitudes and in less accessible and visible areas. Contrary to our expectations terrain slope did not play a significant role to explain surprisingly high rates of inaccuracy occurred in forest core areas.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 146
  • Page Range: 7-18
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English