Belgian Historical GIS

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Город, страна: ,
Год создания: 2003
Назначение: исследования
Полнотекстовость: не указано
Тип: геоинформационная
Тип источников: статистические
Подход к созданию: проблемно-ориентированная
Область знания: история
Область истории: социально-экономическая, политическая
География: Западная Европа
  • период: новая, новейшая
  • века: 19 .. 21
  • годы: 1800 .. 2003
Технология создания: ГИС
Программное обеспечение:
Объем (в записях):
Язык интерфейса: английский
Количество пользователей: коллективного использования
Ключевые слова:

A historical geographic information system has been constructed at the department of Modern History at Ghent University for the Territorial structures of Belgium. This "HISGIS" is based on two historical databases, which have been developed since 1990. One database contains the digitised statistical data for population, agriculture and industry for the period 1800 – 1961. The other database consists of hundreds of digitised historical maps, representing the boundary changes for the period 1800 – 2000. The maps (in vector format, georeferenced to Belgian Lambert 72 map projection) are stored per province. It is possible to visualise the statistical data at different points of time at different territorial levels, ranging from province to municipality, using the historical borders which are valid for the selected point of time. A repertory (in paper-format) has been published with a full overview of the territorial history of the Belgian municipalities from 1796 till 1963.

The historical maps have been reconstructed with the highest possible precision, based on various sources (see for details: “technical background”). In some cases the exact location of historical borders could not be reconstructed, due to a lack of reliable sources. As we go further back in time, these inaccuracies increase. This finding, however, does not affect the usability of cartographic material: on the one hand the deviations are limited and on the other hand the aim of our website is not the provision of geographical accurate maps of the historical territorial units of Belgium. According to the aim of the project, the maps are rather used as “containers” to visualise historical statistics and to perform spatial analysis.

All maps for the reconstruction of the Belgian territorial structure 1800 – 2003 (municipalities, districts, provinces, cantons… ) have been stored per province and per theme as a “snapshot in time”: each map is valid for December 31 of each census year.

The maps, accessible through this webpage, are derived from a more sophisticated historical GIS, where continuous time can be simulated on maps, covering the whole Belgian territory. The reason for the fragmentation of information, by storing all maps per province, was necessary to avoid long download times.

The map browser of our website is powered by “CommonGIS”, which is a shareware program, developed and provided by the German Fraunhofer Instituut. The user of our website does not need to install additional software on his local PC, CommonGIS will be started on our server, whenever the user sends a request to consult a particular map.

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