(Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Amersfoort, The Netherlands)

Keywords: landscape, GIS, history, archaeology, public awareness

Historical and archaeological research and education is often hampered by lack of imaginative maps of the contemporary landscape. Most scientific maps are mainly technical studies into geology and geomorphology, which, by default, are both very precise as well as very specialist-oriented. For non-specialists and the general public these maps are often not suitable.
The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands tries to offer both adequate scientific information as well as information for a wider audience through our several CH portals. For one of these portals a new map is developed that reconstructs the cultural and physical landscape of the Netherlands in 1575, the formation of the modern Dutch state after the uprising against the Spanish reign.
This reconstruction is aimed at a user group of both scientists and interested public. In order to achieve this goal the map is constructed uasing an almost inverse method for landscape mapping. Starting point were the city plans by Jacob van Deventer (second half of the 16th century). These were georeferenced and digitized by using the modern street GIS systems.
Next, the city plans were linked to each other using modern research into regional and long-distance route networks in the Netherlands. These routes were based on landscape features as well as historical maps. This way both the methodology of the route networks research could be verified as well as the georeferencing method of the Van Deventer maps.
This new, corrected, ‘skeleton’ of medieval Dutch topography was confronted with recent research into the palaeogeography of the Netherlands. From a very detailed level, the general picture of the Netherlands in 1575 could be drawn, and refined where necessary. This produced a map that not only has a strong scientific base, but also gives the opportunity to be read and understood by the general public, zooming in on their home town.
With this new map the Cultural Heritage Agency tries to reach not only scientists, but also create awareness of the heritage and history in the surrounding landscape with both the general public as well as local administrators.

Relevance conference
New technology used to create public, political and scientific awareness of history in own surroundings

Relevance round table:
New technologies in heritage dissemination