Translating sociocultural transformations into historical maps on land use changes: the case of Lafkenmapu (Araucania, Chile)

While it is widely known that socio-cultural transformations have a spatial impact on geographical areas, limited attention has been paid to mapping such transformations. This paper aims to explore how historical maps of land-use changes can be excellent tools for this purpose. The Lafkenmapu area in Chile, which has undergone critical socio-cultural transformations over the last five centuries, served as a case study. A total of five historical periods were described and translated into land-use change maps (pre-Hispanic; colonial; post-colonial; state consolidation; present). Non-cartographic (e.g. historical chronicles and publications) and cartographic sources (historical maps, aerial photography and satellite images) were integrated for each period to create a timeline map. Finally, some concluding remarks discuss the added value of the maps as a tool for a better understanding of the impact of socio-cultural transformations on land use and population distribution.

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