A GIS-Based Methodology for Extracting Historical Land Cover Data from Topographical Maps: Illustration with the Nigerian Topographical Map Series

Eine GIS-basierte Methode zum Extrahieren historischer Landbedeckungsdaten aus topographischen Karten: Eine Darstellung mit der nigerianischen Reihe topographischer Karten

Abstract

The availability of historical land cover data is a major challenge to long term land change analysis. This is more so in developing countries like Nigeria with weak land information systems and poor inventories of long term land cover data. This situation is to some extent ameliorated by the existence of topographic maps which represent encryptions of historical snapshots of land condition based on primary sources like aerial and land surveys. Topographic maps are however not easily amenable to analysis for land cover data extraction, given their inherent characteristics. This paper presents a GIS-based digitization, symbols analysis, pattern recognition, and polygonization methodology for the extraction of land cover information from topographic maps. The methodology is demonstrated with sheets in the Nigerian topographic map series covering the Idemili River basin. Results show that indigenous settlement types, derived Savanna, and residual forests occupied 27%, 35% and 24% of the basin area, respectively, during the period. An internal data validation approach showed a significant correlation (p = 0.000; r = 0.975) between base topographical map and extracted cover data. There is a need to apply the methodology to other topographical sheets in country’s inventory to build up a national digital database of historical land cover.

Zusammenfassung

Die Verfügbarkeit historischer Landbedeckungsdaten ist eine große Herausforderung für die langfristige Analyse von Landveränderungen. Dies gilt insbesondere für Entwicklungsländer wie Nigeria mit schwachen Landinformationssystemen und schlechten Beständen an langfristigen Landbedeckungsdaten. Diese Situation wird in gewissem Maße durch die Existenz topographischer Karten verbessert, die historische Momentaufnahmen des Landzustands repräsentieren, die auf Primärquellen wie Luft- und Landvermessungen basieren. Topographische Karten sind jedoch aufgrund ihrer inhärenten Eigenschaften für eine Analyse zur Extraktion von Landbedeckungsdaten nicht leicht zugänglich. In diesem Artikel wird eine GIS-basierte Digitalisierungs-, Signaturenanalyse-, Mustererkennungs- und Polygonisierungsmethode zur Extraktion von Landbedeckungsinformationen aus topografischen Karten vorgestellt. Die Methodik wird anhand von Blättern der nigerianischen topographischen Kartenserie demonstriert, die das Einzugsgebiet des Flusses Idemili abdecken. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass einheimische Siedlungsstrukturen, abgeleitete Savannen und Restwälder im Berichtszeitraum 27%, 35% bzw. 24% der Beckenfläche einnahmen. Ein interner Datenvalidierungsansatz verweist auf eine signifikante Korrelation (p = 0,000; r = 0,975) zwischen der topographischen Basiskarte und den extrahierten Landbedeckungsdaten. Es ist notwendig, die Methodik auf andere topografische Blätter im Inventar des Landes anzuwenden, um eine nationale digitale Datenbank aufzubauen

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(Source: LULC data extraction from topographic maps of Idemili River Basin)

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Source: LULC data extraction from topographic maps of Idemili River basin

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Correspondence to Nnamdi Ifeanyi Maduekwe.

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Maduekwe, N.I. A GIS-Based Methodology for Extracting Historical Land Cover Data from Topographical Maps: Illustration with the Nigerian Topographical Map Series. KN J. Cartogr. Geogr. Inf. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42489-020-00070-z

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Keywords

  • Historical land cover
  • Topographic maps
  • GIS
  • Nigeria
  • Data validation