Cultural landscapes play a decisive influence on our relationship with the space over time, they provide a sense of identity and are part of our national heritage and everyday life.
Cultural landscapes have become one of the priorities of protecting the world heritage over the years. They represent the co-creation of man and nature. In addition, there is a space that allows the survival of people, identities and beliefs around the world. Cultural landscapes can also be agricultural land, large estates, public gardens and parks, cemeteries, sightseeing roads and industrial areas. They may be related to an event, activity, person or group of people and may comprise thousands of hectares of cultivated land, abandoned farming structures creating interesting patterns, urban structures or kilometres of maintained paths at high altitudes in the high mountains. All cultural landscapes are inevitably human-made.
What is more the maps that represent the landscapes are a further iteration of anthropomorphic artefacts, because they illustrate something already made by humans. Maps are in itself a product created by humans for their needs. Maps of the earth’s surface are not intended for anyone else’s use. They are an extremely intellectual product which can not be used by any other living creature at least for the purpose they were made.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire has a long tradition in land-use surveys and agricultural statistics with the first reliable and comparable Austrian land-use data dating back to the late 18th century. To generate a time series of land-use in Austria different sources of land-use statistics were referred to for the 19th-century cadastral survey data (stable cadaster/ stabiler Kataster 1817}1835 and land tax regulation/ Grundsteuer-Regelung 1869}1883) were used. These land surveys were performed with high accuracy and were combined with detailed estimates of agricultural yields. (Krausmann, 2001).Franziscean Cadastre (Stabile Cadastre) Legal basis is is the Land Tax Patent of Emperor Franz I. in 1817. Between the years 1817 and 1861 were surveyed in Austria surveyed and mapped 50 million land parcels that encompassed 300.082 square kilometres, divided into 30.
556 cadastral parishes. In 1849 a patent for the Stabile Cadastre was introduced in Hungary, and all the land was surveyed between 1856 and 1883.On multiple occasions, the usefulness of the Franziscean Cadastre in studying past land use is shown as an important element of the agricultural cultural landscape. Its maps, which provide precise spatial dimensions, are especially valuable.
The Franziscean Cadastre also has certain shortcomings such as the incomplete archival stock for some cadastral parishes, the difficulty of distinguishing between the shades of colour used for the same categories on different maps. In spite of these problems, the Franziscean Cadastre has great scientific value after two centuries since it was made. In spite of numerous and profound changes in the last 200 years, today’s cultural landscape still reflects features that were developed long ago. Especially outside the cities on the countryside traces of the past cultural landscape are still clearly visible in many places. The landscape represents a never-ending process, a continuum of forms and functions in which some change and adapt to new demands, others disappear and are replaced by new ones, and some remain unchanged. The Franziscean Cadastre greatly helps us in identifying and following the development of these elements, functions, and processes.
(Petek and Urbanc, 2004)