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Mapping mountain areas: learning from Global, European and Norwegian perspectives

  • Martin F. Price
  • Tor Arnesen
  • Erik Gløersen
  • Marc J. Metzger
Open Access
Article

Abstract

Defining the spatial extent of mountain areas has long been a challenge. In the present century, the availability of digital elevation models (DEMs) incorporated into geographic information systems (GIS) has allowed the definition of mountain areas based on topographic and other criteria. This paper presents the various delineations of mountains that have been prepared at three scales – global, regional (Europe), and national – and explores the reasons and processes leading to these delineations, and how they have been used. A detailed case study is then presented for Norway. Overall, two types of approaches to mapping mountains have been taken: first, considering mountains per se, based on elevation and/or topography; second, considering them among other categories, e.g., landforms or biogeographical, environmental or landscape zones. All attempts to map mountain areas derive essentially from the objectives of those commissioning and/or undertaking the work; a unitary definition remains unlikely.

Keywords

Mountains Mapping Geographic information systems Europe Norway Topography 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The Norwegian case study was financed under a contract with Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation in Norway.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.

corrected publication 06/2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth CollegeUniversity of the Highlands and IslandsPerthUK
  2. 2.Mountain Research ProgrammeEastern Norway Research InstituteLillehammerNorway
  3. 3.Spatial ForesightTerritorial Policy Support and ResearchParisFrance
  4. 4.Research Institute of Geography and the Lived Environment, School of GeoSciencesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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