Jyrki Lehtinen

Historical maps in the study of shoreline displacement

An overview with examples from the Satakunta region, SW-Finland, is given on the use of historical maps in the study of shoreline displacement. 

In Finland, the time period covered by historical maps begins from the 16th century with rare individual examples and from the 17th and especially 18th century onwards the maps become more numerous and accurate. The oldest maps are, usually, only drafted by the eye and are therefore inaccurate, while the newer maps are based on measurements and are thus more reliable. 

With the current optimum GIS and image-processing techniques the maps can often easily and with high reliability and good quality be transformed in geospatial datasets and be used together with other geographic information. 

In the Deparment of Landscape Studies, University of Turku, historical maps from the Satakunta region have been used widely in teaching and research as well as in publication projects. 

From the point of view of the study of shoreline displacement the most useful of these are, perhaps, the large scale cadastral maps from the 17th century and onwards, that in some occasions can be very accurate, and the small scale Russian topographic maps from 1900s and 1910s, that cover the entire coastline of Satakunta in an easily manageable format.