Grid-Based Population Distribution Estimates from Historical Japanese Topograhical Maps Using GIS
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Recently, with the rapid progress in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and their related fields, data previously unavailable can be analyzed using this powerful geographic tool. In addition, the use of GIS in economics, sociology, archaeology and human geography has expanded remarkably. There are, however, few studies which utilize GIS to analyze time-space phenomena. There is not only a difficulty in collecting the historical data due to the lack of statistical materials, but also there are high barriers to surmount in the process of transforming analog data to digital data (Knowles, 2000). On the other hand, topographical maps drawn at the end of the nineteenth century are effective for obtaining historical spatial data. Although these early edition maps do not meet the accuracy standard of contemporary survey, they do have many valuable characteristics: they cover wide areas, and they contain large amounts of information concerning regional circumstances at the time. It is also certain that the overall coordinate system of old topographical maps is somewhat biased, but this can be corrected through comparison with recent topographical maps. These observations motivated this paper, the objective of which is to estimate historical population distributions by linking topographical maps to statistical materials.
KeywordsGeographical Information System Population Distribution Grid Data Village Population Geographical Information System Technique
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