Mapping Europe’s landscape

Mapping Europe’s landscape Towards multiple intersubjective understandings
Johan Meeus & Thomas van den Brink

landscape, mapping, toponyms, Europe

According to the European Landscape Convention, the user’s subjective view also belongs to the landscape. Therefore it is no longer enough to objectively map earth, soil, water, vegetation and climate. Including the inhabitant’s spatial experiences, expectations and desires is just as important. Although there are various maps of Europe’s landscape, they differ in sources, purpose, scale, structure and typology. What can we learn from their comparison?

Summary: Landscape maps could be important for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention. Many maps of the European landscape have been made. We look at three integral maps: European landscapes (EEA) (1995), Landscape Map Europe (LANMAP) (2010) and European Landscape Character Areas (ELCA) (2018). They differ significantly in purpose, sources, structure, scale and typology. We focus on naming the landscape types. Names are important to give people the opportunity to identify with the landscape where they live in. The EEA map explored the diversity of Europe’s landscape. LANMAP is the most scientific one. ELCA is the most cultural one. All maps have strengths and weaknesses. From the ELC perspective, the ELCA toponomy f its best to take into account the names residents attribute to their own landscape.

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