University of Wisconsin–Madison
Spatial Analysis For Conservation and Sustainability

Carpathians Historical Land Use

YEAR
1860 1930 1960
BASEMAP
Roads Satellite
LAYER OPACITY
LEGEND
Urban
Agriculture
Grassland/Shrubs
Agriculture/Grassland
Forest
Wetlands
Water
Bare Land

Historic Land Use in the Carpathians (version 2)

Land-cover change is a main component of global environmental change, affecting climate, biodiversity and ecosystem services, which in turn, affect land-use decisions. Humans have altered land cover for centuries and the temporal dimension of land use change is particularly important because land-use legacies may persist for centuries. Capturing historic land use over large areas and long time periods (e.g., centuries) is often impossible due to the lack of consistent, broad-scale and long-term data. Here, we compiled a spatially explicit, historic land use data set for the Carpathian Region (350.000 km2) in Eastern Europe, by harmonizing multiple historic map datasets and remotely-sensed land cover data.

Data on historic land uses is available for three time periods around 1860s (Habsburg Empire), 1930s (Interwar period) and 1960s (Socialism). Data on more recent time periods, is available from Landsat image composites (Griffiths et al. 2013, 2014). Data is available in a 2km point-grid format, consistent with European data standards and has been shown to capture well land uses at different points in time (Kaim et al 2016). In addition to land use information, data on several environmental, accessibility and socio-political variables is available at the point locations. As part of a larger project, historic land use data was analyzed in relation to contemporary land change processes and environmental data, to show the effect of land use legacies on recent land change ((Munteanu et al. 2015; Kaim et al. 2016), Munteanu et al, in press).

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Carpathians Historical Land Use