(Cultural Heritage Agency the Netherlands)

Outline: Integrating remote-sensing with historical data in changing environments.

The aim of this paper is to discuss a methodology of combining historical survey data with modern (remote-sensing) survey data.

Abstract: Few landscapes change more rapid than the marine. Sandbanks, channels and even complete coastlines can change dramatically overnight. This is a threat not only for modern mariners, our seafaring forefathers knew this problem also all too well. With modern techniques we can monitor these changes and adapt our maps on a regular basis. These techniques not only provide saver shipping, they can also be used to find the wreck of unfortunate former mariners. How can this method be used to predict where wrecks can be found. And, if a wreck is found, is it possible to preserve it?

In order to get a full picture of possible wreck sites, we need to know what the underwater landscape was in various periods, and how it has changed over time.

Historic Cartographical analysis can give and insight in the use and sometimes in the morphology of former landscapes. The problem with this is that it only provides qualitative information; i.e. descriptive data (map legends, interpretations, names or remarks). Modern remote-sensing devices give purely quantitative data. In order to model changes in a landscape overtime, the historical qualitative data should be in some way ‘quantified’ to make calculations possible. If the historical records provide quantitative data as well, they should somehow be extrapolated to be comparable with modern high resolution data. This ‘quantifying’ of data can also be used for modern qualitative maps, such as soil type maps or land use maps.

This way historical data can be integrated with modern remote-sensing and survey techniques.

In this lecture I will give an example of a method developed at the Cultural Heritage Agency in the Netherlands of integrating historical data with modern remote-sensing and survey techniques. The two main research area were the Wadden Sea and, on ‘dry land’, at the Overijsselse Vecht river.

Keywords: Data integration, data analysis, applied historic cartography in GIS