Economic structuring of land as a blank space – the development of cadastral cartography in Denmark

Stig Roar Svenningsen, Andreas Aagaard Christensen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Cadastral maps constitute the geographical basis of resource administration in most developed countries, including those in Scandinavia, where they function as a framework for organizing the economic utility of land and associated decision-making processes. The authors investigate the history of Danish cadastral cartography with a focus on its representation of landscape.
They explore representations of landscape in maps of a study area in Denmark, produced between 1807 and 1942, and analyse them in the context of the general history of Danish cadastral cartography. Their results show that an initial landscape-oriented perspective on property changed to a focus primarily on legal boundaries. The limitations of that particularistic mode of representation were recognized in 1929 and subsequently several unsuccessful attempts were made to reintroduce a holistic representation of landscape. The authors
conclude that the history of cadastral map-making is reflected in current mapping practices, which are characterized by a perspective in which economic aspects of a landscape are seen as separate from its ecological, physical and visual characteristics. Thus, further investigations of this mismatch between the cartographic representation of cadastral structures and the landscape are important in relation to understanding and mitigating many of today’s
environmental problems in the landscape.
TidsskriftNorsk Geografisk Tidsskrift
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)291-305
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 30 dec. 2021