EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Semi-automated past landscape visualizations for the Netherlands: solutions to keep national overviews actual and in-sync

Kim Cohen1, Harm-Jan Pierik1,2, Hessel Woolderink1,3, Jelle Moree1,4, and Hugo Cox1,5
Kim Cohen et al.
  • 1Utrecht University, Dept. Physical Geography, Utrecht, Netherlands (
  • 2RCE Cultural Heritage Agency of The Netherlands, Amersfoort, Netherlands
  • 3Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Dept. Earth & Climate, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 4Wageningen University & Research, Dept. Environmental Sciences, Wageningen, Netherlands
  • 5self-employed

Overwhelming amounts of geological and geomorphological data have accumulated over the last ca. 160 years for the Netherlands. Also, the amounts and diversity of digital map products summarizing all this data also have grown overwhelmingly. Combining, updating and synchronizing the various information sources while keeping matters user-friendly is a challenge. We present the current status of our GIS solutions for managing landform age information and performing palaeo­geographical analysis utilizing past landscape visualizations (i.e. query-generated map time series).

Our mapping uses so-called base maps connected to landform catalogue database to store information, which are published as open data. Base maps and catalogues are to be kept up-to-date with new actual data through iterative manual revision, and are ‘living’ datasets. For palaeogeographical analysis we query the base maps and recombine subselections using scripts. This generates derived map series in which the information is arranged for the analysis, which independently gets open data status. To allow communal maintenance of the information, we designed interfaces to the landform catalogue databases of our base maps to make them editable in wiki-style (i.e.: ‘non-static open data’).

Attitudes like this are needed to get the most out of accumulating data and overcome integration, actuality and divergence challenges felt by users working with different maps claimed to be based on the same shared body of geodata generated in densely populated lowland countries.

How to cite: Cohen, K., Pierik, H.-J., Woolderink, H., Moree, J., and Cox, H.: Semi-automated past landscape visualizations for the Netherlands: solutions to keep national overviews actual and in-sync, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4976,, 2021.

This abstract will not be presented.