(Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz, Mainz/Trier, Germany)


Outline: We are working on making information from historical cartographic material available for the cultural heritage management by digitizing, rectifying and georeferencing. So these can be used in a GIS for the layering with current spatial data such as topographic maps, aerial photographs and LIDAR-based digital terrain models.

Abstract: Since 2010 historical maps and plans are processed for the use in a geographic information system at the Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz, as this kind of historical sources contains much spatial information about past states of cultural monuments or past landscape conditions.

The most significant project of this kind is the GIS-based processing and mapping of urban archaeological plans in Trier recorded since 1870. This involves the digitization, rectifying and georeferencing of almost 2.000 plans and numerous handwritten archaeological sketches that provide a broad basis for the comprehensive mapping of Roman and medieval finds in the urban area of Trier. Thereby the Roman road network which to date was predominantly based on theoretical models can be reconstructed in detail for the first time using georeferenced archaeological plans of the past 140 years. In a further step the Roman city plan will be examined on its development from the 1st to the 4th century A.D.

Further projects using rectified and georeferenced historical maps aim to the reconstruction of historic town centers, garden structures and abbeys. In the GIS-based analysis of historical maps high-resolution digital terrain models created by using laser technology (LIDAR) play an increasingly important role. On the one hand, these are useful for georeferencing historical maps because they include control points that are often missing on modern maps respectively are not visible on aerial photographs. At the same time georeferenced historical maps offer the possibility to classify and date yet unknown landscape elements that are captured in the terrain model.

During the session, the methodical approach used for processing historical maps in GIS shall be presented as well as the results of the projects and ways of presentation (e. g. WebGIS).

Keywords: Historical maps, Georeferencing, GIS, LIDAR