|Reconstruction of Flanders' coastline since the 16th century using georeferencing technology
Meire, E.; Verwaest, T.; De Maeyer, P.; Mostaert, F. (2012). Reconstruction of Flanders' coastline since the 16th century using georeferencing technology, in: 7th International workshop on Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage, Barcelona,19-20/04/2012: abstracts. pp. 
Information systems > GIS
ANE, België, Belgische kust [Marine Regions]
Coastline dynamics; Georeferencing
Historical cartographic studies addressing the reconstruction of the North Sea coastline are mostly based on a qualitative techniques. The current paper presents a methodology that leads to a better understanding of the planimetric position of the Flemish coastline since the 16th century and provides a GIS- analysis of the occurred coastline dynamics. The reconstruction is based upon the georeferencing of 11 maps from the 16th century onward until the present situation (on the scale of the entire coast and in some cases, for the province of West-Flanders or even Flanders) which are interpreted for coastline position indicators (e.g. dunes, beaches, dikes, tidal areas, the low water line or another depicted interface between land and sea). The methodology provides a more precise geographic dimension of formerly observed tendencies and might discover new insights into coastline evolution. It resulted in the creation of a series of coastline indicator maps since the mid-16th century, which formed the input data set for a quantitative analysis of change (e.g. creation of a time depth map, landscape trajectory map) and a qualitative analysis of the shifting of the coastline). The observations that (i) the western coast has undergone progradation, (ii) the mid-coast and more particular the city of Ostend gradually has been swallowed up by the sea and (iii) the eastern coast has undergone progradation, as the Zwin area has silt up in the course of time, are linked to the location and the age of the indicator ‘dunes’. More interpretations on the observed positional coastline changes will occur in the following weeks.