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Tomasz Opach


The problem of representing the Polish cultural landscape consists of two components. The first component is the choice of content. Wishing to define the breadth of the content of a cultural landscape map, one needs to remember that it is composed of two facets. The first facet, the material result of human activity, is easily discernable in the field and easily illustrated on a map. Elements included in this facet are: sacred and secular historical structures, the spatial layout of cities, archeological sites etc. The second facet of cultural landscape needs to be considered in immaterial terms. It is difficult to illustrate on a map, because its elements do not lend themselves to being topographically situated. One could mention, for example, religions, customs and traditions, a common historical past etc. Most often, one can only indirectly speculate about this facet of the cultural landscape, on the basis of the material characteristics of the cultural landscape.

The second problem related to presenting cultural landscape on a map is the choice of graphic form for the map. The problem is to a large extent tied to difficulties stemming from the necessity of maintaining semantic correctness (the relation between “symbol” and “object”). In practice, during the graphic editing of a map representing the cultural landscape, one should remember to: a) choose a scale suitable for the representation, upon which depend the degree of detail and the generalization of the content; b) correctly depict the variation boundaries, taking into account sharp and fuzzy boundaries; c) make a well-designed symbol key.

Open access

Tomasz Opach, Terje Midtbø and Alexander Nossum

A New Concept of Multi-Scenario, Multi-Component Animated Maps for the Visualization of Spatio-Temporal Landscape Evolution

In this paper, we propose a new approach to the presentation of the spatio-temporal evolution of landscape using a multi-component multi-scenario animated map system. The concept of multi-scenario map was introduced with a few conceptual level objectives. Firstly, to facilitate understanding of geographic spatio-temporal changeability (especially landscape changeability) by the use of complex cartographic animations. Secondly, to investigate factors which influence an intuitive and effective use of multi-component cartographic applications. In relation to understanding processes, the overriding purpose was to build up a generic approach that allows users to recognize features of complex geographic phenomena. Finally, since the implementation of the concept was of importance, a prototype has been prepared.

Open access

Jacek Pasławski, Jolanta Korycka-Skorupa, Tomasz Nowacki and Tomasz Opach


The online Atlas kartograficznych metod prezentacji [Atlas of cartographic presentation methods, hereinafter the Atlas] is a research project being carried out at the Department of Cartography of the University of Warsaw. The aim of the project is to systematize knowledge about the use of cartographic presentation methods. This study discusses selected issues related to two of the five presentation methods analysed in the project, viz. the choropleth map and the diagram map. A rational application of two quite commonly-used presentation methods leads to a number of problems. These problems are most easily visible during attempts to program its implementation in the web-based Atlas and are largely due to the difficulties with drawing a clear boundary between what is a good and a bad map. For this reason, the system operator’s skill and eye for the graphics of semi-automated visualisation seem to be of key importance.