Spatial visualization of quantitative landscape changes in an industrial region between 1827 and 1883. Case study Katowice, southern Poland
The aim of the study is to present landscape changes in the nineteenth century in the central part of the Upper Silesian Industrial District, which is the municipality of Katowice (southern Poland). The comparison of changes, particularly components of the geographical environment, is based on two time periods – the year 1827 and 1883. Nineteenth-century maps were georeferenced, digitized and a series of thematic spatial visualizations presenting quantitative changes were generated by means of the Geographic Information System (GIS). The scale of the visualization created is 1:100,000 and the area is 16,400 ha. The spatial visualization of quantitative landscape change shows the development of the anthropogenic pressure in the form of settlement areas, raw materials extraction places, roads, and the decrease of natural environments, such as forests, rivers, and water bodies. These changes were caused mainly by the exploration of underground deposits and the rapidly growing population of Upper Silesia.