Evolution of some Mediterranean landscapes of Central Italy from historical aerial photographs

  • Maria Nicolina Ripa | nripa@unitus.it
  • Francesco Ciapanna
  • Goffredo Filibeck
  • Federica Gobattoni
  • Antonio Leone
  • Raffaele Pelorosso
  • Matteo Piccinno
  • Carlo Maria Rossi
  • Fabio Recanatesi


Aerial photos represent the main existent database providing evidence of landscape changes with high detail. The analysis of land cover changes plays a key role in understanding a great variety of phenomena in several research fields. Landscapes are made by society and reflect the changing society and attitude towards the environment. The reorientation of farming system, the practical results of planning processes, the rate and magnitude of the changes in the landscape are some of the most important factors relating to the evolution of our landscapes and are very helpful for the understanding of evolution processes and consequently for the design of landscape-orientated policies. Pressures upon the landscape and values of our landscapes can be defined according to their traditional characteristics; traditional landscapes can be defined as those landscapes having a distinct and recognizable structure, which reflect relations between the composing elements and have a significance for natural, cultural or aesthetical values. In most cases, such landscapes evolved slowly and took centuries to form their values. Sometimes land changes happen fast and spread in vast areas so that some agricultural or natural landscapes, widely perceived as traditional, have very recent origin. In this paper, some preliminary observation and case-studies performed on a set of historical photos are dealt with. In 1935, the Italian Land Register Department commissioned SARA company to survey Viterbo province between 1935-1938 through aerial photographs. During the survey, 5,000 photographs on glass plates were taken at a very low altitude, featuring a very high resolution. Thus, they represents a valuable source of information for documenting past and present land-use practices, local cultural heritage and changes in the landscape. Processing this set of historical photos has started, aimed to quantitatively and qualitatively analyse the 1935-1938 landscape patterns and their role in the development of nowadays landscapes.


Download data is not yet available.
Aerial photos, traditional landscape, landscape transformation, land use/land cover change.
Abstract views: 419

PDF: 207
Share it

PlumX Metrics

PlumX Metrics provide insights into the ways people interact with individual pieces of research output (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more) in the online environment. Examples include, when research is mentioned in the news or is tweeted about. Collectively known as PlumX Metrics, these metrics are divided into five categories to help make sense of the huge amounts of data involved and to enable analysis by comparing like with like.

How to Cite
Ripa, M. N., Ciapanna, F., Filibeck, G., Gobattoni, F., Leone, A., Pelorosso, R., Piccinno, M., Rossi, C. M., & Recanatesi, F. (2013). Evolution of some Mediterranean landscapes of Central Italy from historical aerial photographs. Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 44(2s). https://doi.org/10.4081/jae.2013.338