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Articles | Volume 1
15 Jul 2019
 | 15 Jul 2019

Transformation of the landscape of pre-industrial space in the multimedia depiction

Dariusz Lorek

Keywords: nineteenth-century topographical maps, pre-industrial state, landscape transformations, multimedia method of presentation

Abstract. The issue touched upon in the research is connected with the interdisciplinary attitude towards the study of the constantly changing landscape in the nineteenth century Central Europe. Such interdisciplinarity results from the combination of the historical approach with the geographical attitude towards the examination of the past presented by unique cartographic materials.

The aim of the research was to work out the method of employing cartographic sources and adapting other sources of spatial information for the study and presentation of the landscape transformations in the nineteenth century that occurred as a result of the industrialization process in Europe.

Prussian manuscript topographic maps at 1 : 25 000 scale along with early nineteenth-century maps depicting the pre-industrial landscape constitute a significant cartographic source of knowledge. Apart from city plans and other maps, also space descriptions, preserved statistical data, documents, inventories and archives were utilized as sources of spatial information. Photographs, postcards and prints depicting the nineteenth-century landscape were another relevant source of information. Moreover, the data collected during field work, e.g. pictures and short videos made in selected research areas, were also highly useful. The research was conducted, for example, in towns of Greater Poland of different level of economic development. A few types of settlement units were selected, i.e. the village, the town with a mansion (palace), the ‘Olęder’ settlement and the town.

On the basis of maps and archives collected for the research area the multimedia method of presentation of landscape types and their transformations, with the employment of geoinformation tools, was suggested. That methodology of multimedia integration of historical materials allowed one to demonstrate consecutive stages of the transformation characteristic of the nineteenth-century landscape.

As a result, it became possible to define landscape types for the areas of different level of transformation and preserve the pre-industrial state. Short videos consisting of several sequences that demonstrated the changing form of specific topographic objects, elements of the landscape from the nineteenth century till this day, were the effect of the work. On the basis of the nineteenth-century topographic maps that employed the hatching method for the demonstration of the relief the models of the terrain were generated, which allowed one to create the transition from the parallel perspective to the bird’s eye view that was employed to depict the pre-industrial landscape.

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