Poetics and Politics of Information

What interrelations can maps reveal to us? And what can we learn from topography?

The following images show a digital 0,25m hillshade model (source: Databank Ondergrond Vlaanderen as WMS) of the terrain of Genk’s Winterslag mine layered with historical maps from different times.

I worked with QGIS – a geographical information system – that allowed me to combine information from different web-map-services in order to gain new geographical insights on the history of Genk. The program is open source and thus developed by a big number of contributors.

The created images not only provide information about how the rural and urban landscape has changed over time – but also for example that there apparently was once a small settlement at the exact same place, where the coal hill now towers from the earth.

1771-1778 - Ferraris Kaart

(source: Geopunt Belgium as WMS)

1846-1854 - Topografische kaart Vandermaelen, Vlaanderen

(source: Geopunt Belgium as WMS)

1950-1970 - Topografische kaarten Ministerie van Openbare Weken en Wederopbouw

(source: Geopunt Belgium as WMS)

Present - Aerial Photograph

(source: Bing Maps by Microsoft)