ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information

Published by MDPI

Online ISSN: 2220-9964


Figure 1. 
Spatially-Explicit Simulation Modeling of Ecological Response to Climate Change: Methodological Considerations in Predicting Shifting Population Dynamics of Infectious Disease Vectors
  • Article
  • Full-text available

September 2013


153 Reads






Justin V Remais
Poikilothermic disease vectors can respond to altered climates through spatial changes in both population size and phenology. Quantitative descriptors to characterize, analyze and visualize these dynamic responses are lacking, particularly across large spatial domains. In order to demonstrate the value of a spatially explicit, dynamic modeling approach, we assessed spatial changes in the population dynamics of Ixodes scapularis, the Lyme disease vector, using a temperature-forced population model simulated across a grid of 4 × 4 km cells covering the eastern United States, using both modeled (Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) 3.2.1) baseline/current (2001-2004) and projected (Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and RCP 8.5; 2057-2059) climate data. Ten dynamic population features (DPFs) were derived from simulated populations and analyzed spatially to characterize the regional population response to current and future climate across the domain. Each DPF under the current climate was assessed for its ability to discriminate observed Lyme disease risk and known vector presence/absence, using data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Peak vector population and month of peak vector population were the DPFs that performed best as predictors of current Lyme disease risk. When examined under baseline and projected climate scenarios, the spatial and temporal distributions of DPFs shift and the seasonal cycle of key questing life stages is compressed under some scenarios. Our results demonstrate the utility of spatial characterization, analysis and visualization of dynamic population responses-including altered phenology-of disease vectors to altered climate.

Figure 4. The cartogram showing the spatial distribution of global OSM elements for 
individual countries: the lager the size, the more the OSM elements.
Figure 6. The co-contribution network for the top five hierarchical levels involving 477 nodes and 80,957 edges. The scaling hierarchy of far more small nodes than larger ones is indicated by the size of red dots.
Characterizing the Heterogeneity of the OpenStreetMap Data and Community

March 2015


769 Reads

OpenStreetMap (OSM) constitutes an unprecedented, free, geographic information source contributed by millions of individuals, resulting in a database of great volume and heterogeneity. In this study, we characterize the heterogeneity of the entire OSM database and historical archive in the context of big data. We consider all users, geographic elements, and user contributions from an eight-year data archive, at a size of 692 GB. We rely on some nonlinear methods such as power-law statistics and head/tail breaks to uncover and illustrate the underlying scaling properties. All three aspects (users, elements, and contributions) demonstrate striking power laws or heavy-tailed distributions. The heavy-tailed distributions imply that there are far more small elements than large ones, far more inactive users than active ones, and far more lightly edited elements than heavily edited ones. Furthermore, about 500 users in the core group of the OSM are highly networked in terms of collaboration. Keywords: OpenStreetMap, big data, power laws, head/tail breaks, ht-index

Fig. 5. Abduction in GIS. Source: [Bhatt, 2012]
Fig. 6. Branching / Hypothetical Situation Space. Source: [Bhatt, 2012]
Fig. 10. An Urban Narrative 
Geospatial Narratives and Their Spatio-Temporal Dynamics: Commonsense Reasoning for High-Level Analyses in Geographic Information Systems

February 2014


380 Reads

The modelling, analysis, and visualisation of dynamic geospatial phenomena has been identified as a key developmental challenge for next-generation Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In this context, the envisaged paradigmatic extensions to contemporary foundational GIS technology raises fundamental questions concerning the ontological, formal representational, and (analytical) computational methods that would underlie their spatial information theoretic underpinnings. We present the conceptual overview and architecture for the development of high-level semantic and qualitative analytical capabilities for dynamic geospatial domains. Building on formal methods in the areas of commonsense reasoning, qualitative reasoning, spatial and temporal representation and reasoning, reasoning about actions and change, and computational models of narrative, we identify concrete theoretical and practical challenges that accrue in the context of formal reasoning about `space, events, actions, and change'. With this as a basis, and within the backdrop of an illustrated scenario involving the spatio-temporal dynamics of urban narratives, we address specific problems and solutions techniques chiefly involving `qualitative abstraction', `data integration and spatial consistency', and `practical geospatial abduction'. From a broad topical viewpoint, we propose that next-generation dynamic GIS technology demands a transdisciplinary scientific perspective that brings together Geography, Artificial Intelligence, and Cognitive Science. Keywords: artificial intelligence; cognitive systems; human-computer interaction; geographic information systems; spatio-temporal dynamics; computational models of narrative; geospatial analysis; geospatial modelling; ontology; qualitative spatial modelling and reasoning; spatial assistance systems

Identifying Land Use/Cover Dynamics in the Koga Catchment, Ethiopia, from Multi-Scale Data, and Implications for Environmental Change

April 2012


746 Reads

This study analyses the 60 years land cover and land use changes and the implications on environmental change of the Koga catchment located in North Western Ethiopia. The data used include 1:50,000 scale aerial photographs, Landsat MSS, TM and ETM images, and ASTER images together with ground truth data collected through fieldwork survey and community elders' interview. Historical aerial photographs are an important source of data for long term land cover change analysis and have high spatial resolution for detailed land use and land cover classification, though do not provide such good spectral resolution as satellite images. Many land use land cover change studies are based on comparing the changes generated from data with different spatial scales and resolutions which makes the comparison difficult. This study applied image fusion techniques to bring the data sources in to a relatively similar scale for better land use and land cover classification. This bridged the gap of the different spatial scales of the different data sources and also produced images with relatively better spectral resolution than the aerial photographs and better spatial resolution for some of the satellite images for improved land use and land cover change detection. It has been discussed by different researchers that land use and land cover change is increasingly being recognized as an important driver of environmental change in all spatial and temporal scales and current rates, extents and intensities of changes far greater than ever in history. This is especially true in the African context due to over dependence on primary resources. This study quantified the land use land cover changes and analyzed the implications on environmental change.

Using Dual Spatial Clustering Models for Urban Fringe Areas Extraction Based on Night-time Light Data: Comparison of NPP/VIIRS, Luojia 1-01, and NASA’s Black Marble
  • New
  • Article
  • Full-text available

October 2023


36 Reads

Night-time light data (NTL) have been extensively utilized to map urban fringe areas, but to date, there has not been a comprehensive evaluation of the existing spatial clustering methods for delineating the urban fringe using different types of night-time light data. Therefore, we first selected three popular sources of night-time light data (i.e., NPP/VIIRS, Luojia 1-01, and NASA’s Black Marble) to identify the urban fringe. The recognition of spatial mutations across the urban–rural gradient was conducted based on changes in night light intensity using a spatial continuous wavelet transform model. Then, we employed three representative dual spatial clustering approaches (i.e., MK-Means, DBSC, and DSC) for extracting urban fringe areas using different NTL. By using dual spatial clustering, the spatial patterns of the mutation points were effectively transformed into homogeneous spatially adjacent clusters, enabling the measurement of similarity between mutation points. Taking Nanjing city, one of China’s megacities, as the study area, we found that (1) Compared with the fragmented and concentrated results obtained from the Luojia 1-01, NASA’s Black Marble and NPP/VIIRS data can effectively capture the abrupt change of urban fringes with NTL variations; (2) DSC provided a reliable approach for accurately extracting urban fringe areas using NASA’s Black Marble data.

Figure 6. Comparison of the ZY3-02 DSM and SRTMGL1 at the locations of the GCPs.
Mapping Canopy Heights of Poplar Plantations in Plain Areas Using ZY3-02 Stereo and Multispectral Data

February 2019


263 Reads

Forest canopy height plays an important role in forest management and ecosystem modeling. There are a variety of techniques employed to map forest height using remote sensing data but it is still necessary to explore the use of new data and methods. In this study, we demonstrate an approach for mapping canopy heights of poplar plantations in plain areas through a combination of stereo and multispectral data from China’s latest civilian stereo mapping satellite ZY3-02. First, a digital surface model (DSM) was extracted using photogrammetry methods. Then, canopy samples and ground samples were selected through manual interpretation. Canopy height samples were obtained by calculating the DSM elevation differences between the canopy samples and ground samples. A regression model was used to correlate the reflectance of a ZY3-02 multispectral image with the canopy height samples, in which the red band and green band reflectance were selected as predictors. Finally, the model was extrapolated to the entire study area and a wall-to-wall forest canopy height map was obtained. The validation of the predicted canopy height map reported a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.72 and a root mean square error (RMSE) of 1.58 m. This study demonstrates the capacity of ZY3-02 data for mapping the canopy height of pure plantations in plain areas.

Spectral Index for Mapping Topsoil Organic Matter Content Based on ZY1-02D Satellite Hyperspectral Data in Jiangsu Province, China

February 2022


120 Reads

Estimation of soil organic matter content (SOMC) is essential for soil quality evaluation. Compared with traditional multispectral remote sensing for SOMC mapping, the distribution of SOMC in a certain area can be obtained quickly by using hyperspectral remote sensing data. The Advanced Hyper-Spectral Imager (AHSI) onboard the ZY1-02D satellite can simultaneously obtain spectral information in 166 bands from visible (400 nm) to shortwave infrared (2500 nm), providing an important data source for SOMC mapping. In this study, SOMC-related spectral indices (SIs) suitable for this satellite were analyzed and evaluated in Shuyang County, Jiangsu Province. A series of SIs were constructed for the bare soil and vegetation-covered (mainly rice crops and tree seedlings) areas by combining spectral transformations (such as reciprocal and square root) and dual-band index formulas (such as ratio and difference), respectively. The optimal SIs were determined based on Pearson’s correlation coefficient () and satellite data quality, and applied to SOMC level mapping and estimation. The results show that: (1) The SI with the highest in the bare soil area is the ratio index of original reflectance at 654 and 679 nm (OR-RI(654, 679)), whereas the SI in the vegetation area is the square root of the difference between the reciprocal reflectance at 551 and 1998 nm (V-RR-DSI(551, 1998)); (2) the spatial distribution trend of regional SOMC results obtained by linear regression models of OR-RI(654, 679) and V-RR-DSI(551, 1998) is consistent with the samples; (3) based on the optimal SIs, support vector machine and tree ensembles were used to predict the SOMC of bare soil and vegetation-covered areas of Shuyang County, respectively. The determination coefficient of the soil–vegetation combined prediction results is 0.775, the root mean square error is 3.72 g/kg, and the residual prediction deviation is 2.12. The results show that the proposed SIs for ZY1-02D satellite hyperspectral data are of great potential for SOMC mapping.

How to Contextualize SDG 11? Looking at Indicators for Sustainable Urban Development in Germany

November 2018


709 Reads

Agenda 2030 pursues a universal approach and identifies countries in the Global South and in the Global North that are in need of transformation toward sustainability. Therefore, countries of the Global North such as Germany have signed the commitment to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the SDGs need to be “translated” to the specific national context. Existing sustainability indicators and monitoring and reporting systems need to be adjusted as well. Our paper evaluates how three different initiatives translated SDG 11 (“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”) to the German context, given the specific role of cities in contributing to sustainable development. These initiatives included the official ‘National Sustainable Development Strategy’ of the German Government, a scientific initiative led by the ‘German Institute for Urban Affairs’, and a project carried out by the ‘Open Knowledge Foundation’, a non-governmental organization (NGO). This article aims to analyze how global goals addressing urban developments are contextualized on a national level. Our findings demonstrate that only a few of the original targets and indicators for SDG 11 are used in the German context; thus, major adjustments have been made according to the main sustainability challenges identified for Germany. Furthermore, our results show that the current contextualization of SDG 11 and sustainable urban development in Germany are still ongoing, and more changes and commitments need to be made.

Table 3 . Analysis summary table.
The Impact of Urban Inequalities on Monitoring Progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 11: Methodological Considerations

October 2018


103 Reads

There is much discussion regarding the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) capacity to promote inclusive development. While some argue that they represent an opportunity for collaborative goal-led and evidence-based governance, other voices express concerns as they perceive them as techno-managerial framework, that measures development according to quantitatively defined parameters and does not allow for local variation. We argue that the extent to which the positive or negative aspects of the SDGs prevail depends on the monitoring system’s ability to account for multiple and intersecting inequalities. Attention to the role of inequalities for SDG monitoring is of particular importance for SDG 11 due to the additional methodological challenge posed by the need for sub-nationally (urban) representative indicators – especially in cities with intra-urban inequalities related to socio-spatial variations among neighbourhoods. Investigating the extent to which its representativeness is vulnerable to inequalities we systematically analyse the current methodological proposals for the SDG 11 indicator framework. The outcome is a call for 1) a more explicit attention to intra-urban inequalities, 2) the development of a methodological approach to “recalibrate” the city-level indicators to account for the degree of intra-urban inequalities, and 3) an alignment between methodologies and data practices applied for monitoring SDG 11 and the extent of the underlying inequalities within the city that is being assessed. This would enable an informed decision regarding the trade-off in indicator representativeness between conventional data sources, such as censuses and household surveys, and emerging methods, such as participatory geospatial methods and citizen-generated data practices.

Mutualistic Pattern of Intra-Urban Agglomeration and Impact Analysis: A Case Study of 11 Urban Agglomerations of Mainland China

September 2020


60 Reads

Despite the worldwide studies on urban agglomeration (UA), the effects of intra-UA interaction patterns have not been thoroughly elucidated to date. To fill the research gap, first, this study utilized the Baidu Internet search data to quantify the internal interaction patterns of 11 main UAs in China. Rail-way data were referenced for verification. Based on building intercity interaction network, the node symmetry index (NSI) was calculated. Considering the estimated interaction strength and mutuality, the intra-interaction patterns were classified into symmetrical and asymmetrical mutualism, where the former indicates that the interactions of cities are mutually beneficial and the latter means that the interactions are unbalanced. The socio-economic development levels of cities and UAs were estimated by the entropy-TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution) method. Finally, the impacts of intra-UA interaction were explored through ordinary least square regression. This study obtained two findings. Firstly, at the city scale, symmetrical mutualism had a greater impact than asymmetrical mutualism on the city’s socio-economic development level. Secondly, at the regional scale, both symmetrical and asymmetrical mutualism were related with regional socioeconomic development level; however, only symmetrical mutualism showed a correlation with regional coordinated development level. Respondent suggestions and implications to promote regional coordinated development were then offered based on the results of the analysis. Limitations of this study include that exogenous interactions between UAs and their backlands, and other relationships, such as competition, were not discussed. These issues can be considered in future researches. This study characterizes the interaction pattern of intra-urban agglomeration and offers advice and suggestion for implementing regional sustainable development.

Figure 4. YRB Folding Map 2012-2021.
Figure 5. Relative Proximity of YRB Regions. Figure 5. Relative Proximity of YRB Regions.
Relative proximity of the YRB, 2012-2021.
Assessment of Forest Ecological Security in China Based on DPSIRM Model: Taking 11 Provincial Administrative Regions along the Yangtze River Basin as Examples

July 2023


17 Reads

China’s forest ecological problems are becoming increasingly serious, especially in the Yangtze River Basin (YRB) area. The basin has rich species resources and a well-developed natural forest management and conservation policy. Taking the YRB as the object, we combine the DPSIRM model to build a forest evaluation system containing 6 criterion layers and 24 indicator layers. The entropy weight method-TOPSIS and ArcGIS were combined to assess the forest state and the distribution characteristics of the 11 regions. Furthermore, grey relational analysis (GRA) was used to study the influencing factors of forest status. The results are as follows: (1) the comprehensive index of the YRB forests increased by 192.66% during the study period. The forest status showed the stage characteristics of small climb, basic flatness, and significant improvement. (2) The forest status varied significantly among provinces (cities), with Tibet (0.483) in the best condition and Qinghai (0.103) in a worse condition. (3) Except for Tibet, the rest of the regions are more influenced by the extent of development of the economy. (4) The factor most strongly correlated with the YRB is the forest response (R) indicator.

Principles and Applications of the Global Human Settlement Layer as Baseline for the Land Use Efficiency Indicator—SDG 11.3.1

February 2019


641 Reads

The Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) produces new global spatial information, evidence-based analytics describing the human presence on the planet that is based mainly on two quantitative factors: (i) the spatial distribution (density) of built-up structures and (ii) the spatial distribution (density) of resident people. Both of the factors are observed in the long-term temporal domain and per unit area, in order to support the analysis of the trends and indicators for monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda and the related thematic agreements. The GHSL uses various input data, including global, multi-temporal archives of high-resolution satellite imagery, census data, and volunteered geographic information. In this paper, we present a global estimate for the Land Use Efficiency (LUE) indicator—SDG 11.3.1, for circa 10,000 urban centers, calculating the ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate between 1990 and 2015. In addition, we analyze the characteristics of the GHSL information to demonstrate how the original frameworks of data (gridded GHSL data) and tools (GHSL tools suite), developed from Earth Observation and integrated with census information, could support Sustainable Development Goals monitoring. In particular, we demonstrate the potential of gridded, open and free, local yet globally consistent, multi-temporal data in filling the data gap for Sustainable Development Goal 11. The results of our research demonstrate that there is potential to raise SDG 11.3.1 from a Tier II classification (manifesting unavailability of data) to a Tier I, as GHSL provides a global baseline for the essential variables called by the SDG 11.3.1 metadata.

Big Data Supported the Identification of Urban Land Efficiency in Eurasia by Indicator SDG 11.3.1

February 2021


252 Reads

Indicator 11.3.1 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 11.3.1) was designed to test land-use efficiency, which was defined as the ratio of the land consumption rate (LCR) to the population growth rate (PGR), namely, LCRPGR. This study calculates the PGRs, LCRs, and LCRPGRs for 333 cities from 1990–2000 and 391 cities from 2000–2015 in four geographical divisions in Eurasia according to the method given by UN metadata. The results indicate that Europe and Japan have the lowest PGR and LCR, indicating that this region’s level of urbanization is the highest. South and Central Asia have the lowest values of LCRPGR, indicating relatively lower urban land supply during the measurement periods. Compared with the mean LCRPGR in a region, the average values from SDG 11.3.1 by different types of cities in a region can have more guiding significance for urban sustainable development. While paying attention to the urban land-use efficiency of mega and extra-large cities, more attention should be paid to the coordination relationship between urban land supply and population growth in large, medium, and small cities. Additionally, the method from UN metadata works well for most urban expansion cities but is not suitable for cities with small changes in urban populations.

SDG Indicator 11.3.1 and Secondary Cities: An Analysis and Assessment

October 2021


319 Reads

Secondary cities are rapidly growing areas in low- and middle-income countries that lack data, planning, and essential services for sustainable development. Their rapid, informal growth patterns mean secondary cities are often data-poor and under-resourced, impacting the ability of governments to target development efforts, respond to emergencies, and design sustainable futures. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 focuses on inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and human settlements. SDG Indicator (SDGI) 11.3.1 calculates the ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate to enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization. Our paper compares three cities—Denpasar, Indonesia; Kharkiv, Ukraine; and Mekelle, Ethiopia—that were part of the Secondary Cities (2C) Initiative of the U.S. Department of State, Office of the Geographer and Global Issues to assess SDGI 11.3.1. The 2C Initiative focused on field-based participatory mapping for data generation to assist city planning. Urban form and population data are critical for calculating and visually representing this ratio. We examine the spatial extent of each city to assess land use efficiency (LUE) and track changes in urban form over time. With limited demographic and spatial data for secondary cities, we speculate whether SDGI 11.3.1 is useful for small- and medium-sized cities.

Statistic results of spatial global autocorrelation analysis. Attributes Area Range Spatial Autocorrelation Analysis Global Moran 'I Z-Score p-Value
Statistic results of spatial global autocorrelation analysis.
The assessment results of urban public open spaces by SDG 11.7.1 in Deqing's built-up area.
Quantitative Evaluation of Spatial Differentiation for Public Open Spaces in Urban Built-Up Areas by Assessing SDG 11.7: A Case of Deqing County

September 2020


66 Reads

Urban public open spaces refer to open space between architectural structures in a city or urban agglomeration that is open for urban residents to conduct public exchanges and hold various activities. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11.7 in the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly states that the distribution characteristics of public open spaces are important indicators to measure the sustainable development of urban ecological society. In 2018, in order to implement the sustainable development agenda, China offered the example of Deqing to the world. Therefore, taking Deqing as an example, this paper uses geographic statistics and spatial analysis methods to quantitatively evaluate and visualize public open spaces in the built area in 2016 and analyzes the spatial pattern and relationship of the population. The results show that the public open spaces in the built-up area of Deqing have typical global and local spatial autocorrelation. The spatial pattern shows obvious differences in different parts of the built area and attributes of public open spaces. According to the results of correlation analysis, it can be seen that the decentralized characteristics of public open spaces have a significant relationship with the population agglomeration, and this correlation is also related to the types of public open spaces. The assessment results by SDG 11.7.1 indicate that the public open spaces in the built-up area of Deqing conform to the living needs of residents on the whole and have a humanized space design and good accessibility. However, the per capita public open spaces of towns and villages outside the built area are relatively low, and there is an imbalance in public open spaces. Therefore, more attention should be paid to constructing urban public open spaces fairly.

Geographical Determinants of Regional Retail Sales: Evidence from 12,500 Retail Shops in Qiannan County, China

May 2022


61 Reads

The rapid development of the Chinese economy has stimulated consumer demand and brought huge opportunities for the retail industry. Previous studies have emphasized the importance of estimating regional consumption potentiality. However, the determinants of retail sales are yet to be systematically studied, especially at the micro level. As a result, the realization of sustainable development goals in the retail industry is restricted. In this paper, we studied the determinants of retail sales from two aspects—location-based socioeconomic factors and spatial competition between shops. Using 12,500 retail shops as our sample and by adopting a grid-division strategy, we found that regional retail sales can be positively impacted by nearby population, road length, and most non-commercial points of interest (POIs). By contrast, the number of other commercial facilities, such as catering facilities and shopping malls, and the area of geographic barriers often caused negative impacts on retail sales. As to the competition effects, we found that the isolation and decentralization of shops in one area have a marginally positive effect on sales performance within a threshold distance of 226.19 m for a central grid and a threshold distance of 514.85 m for surrounding grids, respectively. This study explores the determinants of micro-level retail sales and provides decision makers with practical and realistic approaches for generating better site selection and marketing strategies, thus realizing the sustainable development goals of the retail industry.

Spatial Pattern and Formation Mechanism of Rural Tourism Resources in China: Evidence from 1470 National Leisure Villages

August 2022


80 Reads

Rural tourism development has been an essential driving force behind China’s promotion of integrated urban–rural development, sustainable rural development and rural revitalization in the new era. This study included 1470 villages on the national list of beautiful leisure villages in China (BLVCs) from 2010 to 2021. We explored the distribution characteristics and influencing factors based on mathematical statistics and spatial analysis in ArcGIS to provide a theoretical reference for promoting the development of leisure village agriculture and rural tourism. The results show that the distribution of BLVC presents a clustered state, showing a distribution pattern of a dual core, seven centers and multiple scattered points. BLVCs are mainly distributed in areas with flat terrain and sufficient water resources, which are conducive to agricultural production and life. Having convenient transportation and rich tourism resources aids the promotion of rural tourism development. The resulting gap in regional development is balanced to some extent by government support. The research results provide a reference value for future rural spatial optimization and sustainable development. This paper summarizes the law of rural development and clarifies the factors influencing the development of rural tourism, and it provides the Chinese experience as a model for a rural renaissance empowered by rural tourism.

Old Mine Map Georeferencing: Case of Marsigli’s 1696 Map of the Smolník Mines

August 2023


45 Reads

Historical maps represent a unique and irreplaceable source of information about the history of a country, be it large (historical) regions, individual geomorphological units or specifically defined sites. Using a methodologically correct, critical historical analysis, old maps provide both the horizontal and vertical analysis of a landscape and its transformation in different time periods. These maps represent some of the oldest, but relatively easily accessible, historical pictorial documents (plausibly) depicting historical landscapes. This study provides the methodology for processing and georeferencing old mine maps with the possibility of their further use for the purposes of mining tourism. The 1696 Marsigli mine map has been chosen for the case study in question. It depicts a cross-section of the copper mines in Smolník and shows in detail the process of cementation water mining. Through an analysis and a detailed study, two-dimensional parts of a georeferenced historical map have been plotted in Google Earth’s three-dimensional space.

Figure 3. Mezzanine ceiling. Authors' own photograph, 2020.
Figure 10. Detail of the scanner station positions within the mezzanine room.
Figure 11. Manual recording of two scans with indication of the fitting error.
Figure 20. Ceiling orthoimage with the tilted side planes laid flat.
Digital Graphic Documentation and Architectural Heritage: Deformations in a 16th-Century Ceiling of the Pinelo Palace in Seville (Spain)

February 2021


197 Reads

Suitable graphic documentation is essential to ascertain and conserve architectural heritage. For the first time, accurate digital images are provided of a 16th-century wooden ceiling, composed of geometric interlacing patterns, in the Pinelo Palace in Seville. Today, this ceiling suffers from significant deformation. Although there are many publications on the digital documentation of architectural heritage, no graphic studies on this type of deformed ceilings have been presented. This study starts by providing data on the palace history concerning the design of geometric interlacing patterns in carpentry according to the 1633 book by López de Arenas, and on the ceiling consolidation in the 20th century. Images were then obtained using two complementary procedures: from a 3D laser scanner, which offers metric data on deformations; and from photogrammetry, which facilitates the visualisation of details. In this way, this type of heritage is documented in an innovative graphic approach, which is essential for its conservation and/or restoration with scientific foundations and also to disseminate a reliable digital image of the most beautiful ceiling of this Renaissance palace in southern Europe.

Geographical Analysis on the Projection and Distortion of INŌ’s Tokyo Map in 1817

October 2019


337 Reads

The history of modern maps in Japan begins with the Japan maps (called INŌ’s maps) prepared by Tadataka Inō after he thoroughly surveyed the whole of Japan around 200 years ago. The purpose of this study was to investigate the precision degree of INŌ’s Tokyo map by overlaying it with present maps and analyzing the map style (map projection, map scale, etc.). Specifically, we quantitatively examined the spatial distortion of INŌ’s maps through comparisons with the present map using GIS (geographic information system), a spatial analysis tool. Furthermore, by examining various factors that caused the positional gap and distortion of features, we explored the actual situation of surveying in that age from a geographical viewpoint. As a result of the analysis, a particular spatial regularity was confirmed in the positional gaps with the present map. We found that INŌ’s Tokyo map had considerably high precision. The causes of positional gaps from the present map were related not only to natural conditions, such as areas and land but also to social and cultural phenomena.

Number of gaps and their areas in the non-surveyed (estimated) coastlines in Japan.
Distance of non-surveyed (estimated) coastlines drawn by sea-based measurement in Ja- pan.
Geospatial Analysis of the Non-Surveyed (Estimated) Coastlines in Inoh’s Map, 1821

August 2021


68 Reads

The history of modern maps in Japan began with Inoh’s map that was made by surveying the whole of Japan on foot 200 years ago. Inoh’s team investigated coastlines, major roads, and geographical features such as rivers, lakes, temples, forts, village names, etc. The survey was successively conducted ten times from 1800 to 1816. Inoh’s map is known as the first scientific map in Japan using a systematic method. However, the actual survey was conducted only for 75% of the coastlines in Japan and the remaining 25% was drawn by Inoh’s estimation (observation). This study investigated how the non-surveyed (estimated) coastlines were distributed in the map and why the actual survey was not conducted in these non-surveyed coastlines. Using GIS, we overlaid the geometrically corrected Inoh’s map (Digital Inoh’s Map Professional Edition) with the current map published by the Geospatial Information Authority (GSI) of Japan for examining the spatial difference. We found that the non-surveyed coastlines were in places where the practice of actual surveying was topographically difficult because of the limited surveying technology of those days. The analytical result shows that 38.6% of the non-surveyed coastlines were cliffs, 25.7% were rocky beaches, and 6.2% were wetlands and tidal lands (including rice fields and tidal flats).

The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba: Graphic Analysis of Interior Perspectives by Girault de Prangey around 1839

March 2021


1,258 Reads

The work of Philibert Girault de Prangey, who was a draughtsman, pioneering photographer and an Islamic architecture scholar, has been the subject of recent exhibitions in his hometown (Langres, 2019), at the Metropolitan Museum (New York, 2019) and at the Musée d’Orsay (Paris, 2020). After visiting Andalusia between 1832 and 1833, Prangey completed the publication “Monuments arabes et moresques de Cordoue, Seville et Grenada in 1839”, based on his own drawings and measurements. For the first time, this research analyses his interior perspectives of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (Spain). The novel methodology is based on its comparison with a digital model derived from the point cloud captured by a 3D laser scanner. After locating the different viewpoints, the geometric precision and the elaboration process are analysed, taking into account historic images by various authors, other details published by Prangey and the architectural transformations of the building. In this way, the veracity and documentary interest of some beautiful perspectives of a monument inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO is valued.

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