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Phd ceremony Ms. J. Benavides Quecan: Measuring the historical city. The reliability of historical land surveying methods, and their use in virtual urban cartography

When:Th 03-07-2014 17:00 - 18:00

This research is part of the research program sponsored by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific research (NWO) entitled “Paper and virtual cities”. It focuses on the development of new methodologies for the use of historical manuscript maps in virtual urban cartography and other spatial applications. We concentrated on early city maps and fortification drawings of the Low Countries during the 16th-17th Centuries in Dutch and European Collections. We studied how early maps can be used as spatial or historical sources supporting historical research or other applications. By studying the education of mapmakers and land surveyors and by comparing various maps, we try to understand how maps were made and to assess their reliability. Using a set of early Dutch city maps, we analyzed the spatial properties of these maps and their depiction of the city as a real landscape and as a historical source.  We used a specific and limited selection of modern methods and techniques of geo-processing to explore the content of early maps. By combining these techniques with procedures of spatial standards for assessing maps’ reliability, we created different examples of how to approach the study of early maps. In order to determine how accurate the various maps in question are, we compared the early maps to modern cartographical sources and to the cadastral map of the 1830s. The results are used as a tool to analyze early maps by integrating the historical context behind their mapmaking.