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Kaunitz

"That's one vast valley!" - hard-edged, realistically scaled map

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The question whether the terrain was more compartmentalized (thanks, Bud Backer :) ) in the 1930s and 40s than today is an interesting question. I.e. were there more line-of-sight blocking features 80 years ago than what the modern google street-view map suggests? 

I don't think one should draw any broad conclusions. The first question one needs to ask: what constitutes a field? What we "gamers" typically consider to be a field - a piece land that grows one type of crop, its boundaries marked by some hedgerow or farmtrack - in fact usually consists of several parcels. These parcels are clearly discernable in cadastral maps and they can but don't need to be the property of a single farm. So, if the amount of land that a single farm cultivates increases, that does not automatically mean that the number of "fields" cultivated by that farm increases - it can also mean that the farm simply cultivates more parcels within the existing structure of fields? And then again one also needs to ask whether it would be that easy to bring about the  merging of several fields? There are certainly administrative obstacles...?

Now, I'm fully aware that the situation may differ greatly depending on where in Europe you look at (for example, when trying to create a map for CM:BS, I found that the fields in modern day Ukraine are really gigantically huge!). But I think it's a good idea to come up with a comparison:  

Here is a village in Luxembourg as shown on a cadastral map from 1811-1831 [!] (source: https://map.geoportail.lu/theme/main?fid=256_590&version=3&zoom=14&X=694162&Y=6366435&lang=en&layers=256&opacities=0.25&bgLayer=basemap_2015_global - * you need to click the sector south-east of the currently selected one, can't get the proper link to work!)

https://imgur.com/a/g56dmNp

Here is the modern satellite view: 

https://imgur.com/a/XlFRROc

Here, I tried to blend the two views (black lines = roads/paths from the cadastral map; green lines = green lines of the cadastral map - probably hedgerows?)

https://imgur.com/a/KOQIRQu

For me, it seems as if very little has changed. The structure of the parcels is almost the same.

One could also compare the aerial recon photos (Ian Daglish's books, mostly concentrated on northern France, include many views) with the modern day landscape.

Edited by Kaunitz

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By comparison, here are examples that show villages (in Bavaria) before and after major land consolidations (compare the pictures on the right hand side): 

https://www.historisches-lexikon-bayerns.de/Lexikon/Flurbereinigung

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PS: If you can speak german, there is a cute little documentation on youtube. If you can't, maybe it still inspires you as a mapmaker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC2HljwiVK0

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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