Ulrich Walz and Ulrich Schumacher:
Mile sheets of Saxony as a source for cultural landscape research using the example of Saxon Switzerland
Cartographica Helvetica 44 (2011) 3–15
Historical maps are an important source for understanding today's cultural landscape and its beginnings. This article investigates which images of the cultural landscape are conveyed by the mile sheets of Saxony, dating from the end of the 18th century. This opus of maps from the third (large) survey of Saxony from 1780 to 1826 at the scale of 1:12,000 is extremely rich in detail and, considering the circumstances of the time, is highly accurate in its geometry. Using modern geoinformation technology, the identifiable landscape elements from Saxon Switzerland were captured, cartographically processed and compared to written literary documents. It turns out that mile sheets constitute a well-founded basis for regional positioning and determination of contemporary elements in the cultural landscape. Existing relics of a historical landscape can thus serve as credentials for a better classification of former land use and characteristic landscapes, as well as for developing fundamental principles on how to deal with landscapes in the future.