Discovering Hidden Maps: Cartographic Representations as Arguments for Historical Narratives

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


The national revivals of the nineteenth century contributed to the nationalization of historiography in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Maps often illustrated history textbooks of the time and served as an argument for the territorial ambitions of the arising nations. Maps on military operations, boundary lines, medieval statehood or ethnography aimed to prove that a nation had occupied a certain territory for centuries; they functioned as a tool for the legitimation of historical claims. In contrast to national topographic map series, maps printed in books are always related to the surrounding narrative. The contextualization of both text and cartographic representation helps us to understand the function of these maps within a national narrative. Another way to capture the intention of the map is to embed it into the geographic reality. Once maps have been digitized and georeferenced, their projection within a GIS can offer clues about their accuracy. Ultimately, the cartographic representation in relation to the real world gives researchers an analysis tool to resituate maps stating an argument about a discourse [Harley (Cartographica 26(2): 1–20, 1989)] within a measurable framework. This method may provide new evidence about the intention of the author’s statement.


Cartographic Representation Hidden Maps Southeastern Europe Georeferencing Process Choropleth Mapping 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European StudiesRegensburgGermany

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