New Tricks with Old Maps: Urban Landscape Change, GIS, and Historic Preservation in the Less Developed World



This article presents a methodology for a more detailed investigation of urban landscape change in rapidly growing cities of the less developed world beyond typical macrolevel approaches. This research is an attempt to bridge the gap between traditional landscape analysis and geographic information science (GIS). The article presents the preliminary results from a pilot project in Zamalek, Egypt, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of the two techniques. Rarely used to study the less developed world, these techniques are utilized to assess change within a portion of Cairo's urban landscape. Large-scale historic maps and high-resolution satellite imagery, combined with field attribute collection, are the major data sources in this applied landscape analysis. A motivating factor in the desire to examine landscape change at such a large scale is the need to create monitoring systems for historic preservation in cities of the less developed world.