Mid-19th-century building structure locations in Galicia and Austrian Silesia under the Habsburg Monarchy

Published: 02-03-2021| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/md8jp9ny9z.2
Dominik Kaim,


The dataset presents a reconstruction of mid-19th-century building structure locations in former Galicia and Austrian Silesia (parts of the Habsburg Monarchy), located in present-day Czechia, Poland and Ukraine and covering more than 80 000 km2. Our reconstruction was based on a homogeneous series of detailed Second Military Survey maps (1:28,800), which were the result of cadastral mapping (1:2,880) generalization. The dataset consists of two kinds of building structures based on the original map legend – residential and outbuildings (mainly farm-related buildings), and contains more than 1.3 million objects. The dataset’s accuracy was assessed quantitatively and qualitatively using independent data sources and may serve as an important input in studying long-term socio-economic processes and human-environmental interactions or as a valuable reference for continental settlement reconstructions. Additionally, a separate polygon layer of districts covering the entire study area, including a set of uncertainty-related attributes was added to the dataset. Acknowledgments This research was funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Republic of Poland under the frame of “National Programme for the Development of Humanities” 2015–2020, as a part of the GASID project (Galicia and Austrian Silesia Interactive Database 1857–1910, 1aH 15 0324 83).


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The reconstruction was based on a homogeneous set of Second Military Survey maps, which were acquired from the War Archive in Vienna in the form of scanned .tif files (at 300 DPI). The maps for Austrian Silesia (42 map sheets) were published in the period 1837–1841 and those for Galicia (412 map sheets) were published in the period 1861–1864. The maps show two main categories of buildings in different colours – red (ger. Wohngebäude), indicating mainly residential buildings and black (ger. Wirtschaftsgebäude), including farm or agriculture-related buildings. We used a semiautomatic, colour-based method to acquire residential buildings and manual vectorization to acquire the farm buildings. Each map sheet was then verified manually to eliminate commissions and omissions. Finally, the data were subject to several accuracy assessments. We assessed the acquisition accuracy and referred the data with the census data at different administrative levels. Additionally, we verified the number of buildings with the textual information presented on the original map sheets in the form of building number summaries and used auxiliary data such as cadastral maps as needed. Finally, we added the attributes presented below: type - the type of the building (1 - residential, 2 - farm-related) Year 1, Year 2 - map sheet production period comment - if map sheet production dates were not specified, we analysed the dates of neighbouring sheets and added it here as the most probable period An additional layer addressing uncertainty-related attributes (uncertainty_metadata.shp) contains a map of all the districts of the study area and covers a set of attributes, helpful in any uncertainty analysis. The statistical census data for Austrian Silesia are based on the 1857 census and for Galicia on the 1869 census. The list of attributes include: District – Name of the district according to the census Man – number of men Women – number of women M_and_W – number of men and women combined census_h – number of houses according to the census database_h – number of houses according to the database per_of_cen – houses in the database as a percentage of houses recorded in the census cens_date – census date map_date – map date (if the map was produced more than one year, the date closest to the census was taken) time_diff – number of years between census and map publication area_ha – the area of the district based on shapefile polygon geometry (hectares) pop_dens – population density based on ‘M_and_W’ and ‘area_ha’ attributes (people/km2) mean_dist – mean distance to the main roads - 4 categories of the roads, based on the Second Military Survey mean_elev – mean elevation (meters asl; based on SRTM DEM) mean_slope – mean slope (degrees; based on SRTM) slope_rg – slope range in the district (degrees; based on SRTM) farm_b – number of farm-related structures, based on the database