Congresses, Conferences, Symposia
Reviews and Comments
Jubilees and Anniversaries
Roumiana Vatseva – Integration of GIS and remote sensing for landscape change analysis
Monitoring and investigation of landscape change involves the integration of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for data acquisition, processing, analysis and visualization. This article reviews the Remote Sensing and GIS integration for landscape change characterization, as well as the main approach- es to integrate geospatial technologies, their main capabilities and limitations.
The dynamic evolution of GIS for nearly five decades does not change their basic analytical part and opportunities for revealing of spatial relationships of ob- jects. Current GIS technologies include not only an analytical part, but integrate the monitoring and quantitative measurements with spatial analysis and modeling into a one system, which identifies them as crucial tool for landscape studies. At the same time GIS is highly dependent upon existing sources of data, particularly the operational data. Remote Sensing provide multi-source, multi-scale and multi-temporal data that are quite important for monitoring and mapping landscape change. Image processing techniques, such as transformation, classification, interpretation and change detection are applied to derive needed information from imagery. The data presenting historical and current spatial patterns of landscape change are needed for spatial analysis and modelling in GIS environment, including scenario development and driving-force analysis. A summary of most commonly used models for land cover and landscape change that have direct impute from Remote Sensing imagery is presented.
The article highlights the main approaches to integrate GIS and Remote Sens- ing in relation to monitoring, measurement, data processing, analysis and modeling, taking out their main advantages and disadvantages. There is a need for more comprehensive approaches that integrate Remote Sensing technologies and GIS analysis and modeling for developing various applications.
Mariyana Nikolova – Environmental indicators for sustainable development and integrated coastal zone management
The significance and scale of the global human footprint is not in doubt 42 years after adoption of the idea of sustainability by IUCN. The Earth’s capacity to yield products for human consumption, to absorb or sequestrate human wastes and to yield ecosystem services is all limited. This put under question the need of development of new thinking about sustainability (M i l l e n n i u m…, 2005). The European policy toward the coastal regions aims at achieving sustainability by implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). This paper provides an analysis of the theoretical basis and interrelations between 1) Sustainability and sustainable development indicators; 2) A conceptual model for develop- ing environmental indicators and indices and 3) The ICZM indicators and the EU policy for sustainable development (SD).
Valentin Mihaylov – Changes in the number of population of large cities in post-socialist countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe
The analysis of post-socialist development of the cities according to their size structure and the countries level is presented in the paper. The dynamic changes in population size structure of the large cities in Central and South-Eastern Europe are connected with the significant historical transformations of geographical space of that region. According to the number of their population, the large cities are divided into four subcategories: over 1 million (six cities – Bucharest, Budapest, Warsaw, Sofia, Prague and Belgrade); 500-999 thousand (7); 250-499 thousand (24); 100-249 thousand (74).
The main factors affecting spatial and social differences in transformation processes and changes of population number are the following: the level of natural and migration increase of population, the local social effects of deindustrialization and adaptation processes to market-oriented economy, economic conditions in separate regions and countries, suburbanization, as well as the geographical position of each city and the countries as a whole. The dynamics of the cities, located on the territory of former Yugoslav Federation, was affected by Civil War and unstable geopolitical situation during the 90-s.
Between 1989 and 2011, in investigated countries, the number of the residents of the cities over 100 thousand decreased from 35.2 to 33.2 million. Generally, only 30 cities increased the number of their population. At the end of the period, the number of large cities equals to 111 (119 in years 1989-1994). Among the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe, most of those cities are located in Poland (29), Romania (24), Hungary (9), Bulgaria (7), and so on.
Rossen Koroutchev – Regional Development of the Serbian–Bulgarian border area
In this paper the current economic situation of the Bulgarian-Serbian border region is investigated, paying attention to the possible economic opportunities for the future development of the region as tourism and cross-border cooperation within the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) programs.
Nadezhda Ilieva – Number of Roma ethnic group in Bulgaria from the liberation to the beginning of the 21st century (based on regular censuses)
The main objective of the study is to trace most accurately the changes in the number of Roma ethnic group in Bulgaria throughout the post-liberation historical period when it constituted over 2% of the country’s population. The problems about calculating the number of Roma people are a lot and involve the complex hierarchical structure of their ethnic identity and the widespread phenomenon “preferred ethnicity”, i.e. publicly declared another, non-Roma ethnicity. Three main groups of factors are discussed, affecting the ethnic composition of an area – vital events, migrations of the Roma ethnic group and some ethnic processes (consolidation, assimilation, integration, etc.). Although the Roma ethnic group in Bulgaria is the second largest after the Turkish one, there are very few studies in both the post-liberation period and the years after World War II until the end of 1989. Studies were made on the basis of official censuses and unpublished data on ethnic communities in Bulgaria, aiming to obtain maximum reliable information on the number of Roma in the country. During the whole post-liberation period this was the only constantly growing ethnic group, due primarily to the high natural increase of the population. The latter is largely deter- mined by the conservative traditions and customs of Roma families, by the nature of employment, by the value system of Roma people combined with the specific living environment, by their occupation, by the young age structure, by the deteriorated educational structure, etc. Decisive influence on the decline in birth rates, respectively in natural increase, has the settled-down lifestyle of Roma people, regulated by a resolution of the Council of Ministers in 1958 (the year coincides with the completion of land collectivization), and leading to an improved educational level. Throughout the surveyed period the immigration processes prevailed over the emigration ones which were generally characterized by low intensity and had a negligible effect on the number of Roma population in the country. The changes in ethnic policy since the mid-1950s aimed to stop the growing trend towards self-identification of Roma Muslims, whose mother tongue is Turkish, as Turks. In addition, their Turkish-Arabic names were changed to Bulgarian names. In fact, the so called “restoration process” or the process of renaming, began with this ethnic group in the late 1950s, but an opposite result was achieved, especially as far as the Turkish ethnic group was concerned. These trends also affected the ethnic self-determination of Roma population in the next years.
Marinela Agalareva – Paleogeographic evolution of the paleo-valley network in the Moesian epiplatform plain
Based on the structural geomorpholological data this study reveals the stages in the origin, fossilization, reconstruction and the final formation of river-valley network in the Moesian Epiplatform Plain.
Yoana Stoyanova, Roumiana Vatseva – Landscape changes in Bansko municipality for the period 1990-2006 based on remote sensing data
Municipality of Bansko is the leading national and international winter center for tourism and sport in Bulgaria. Cultural tourism, spa and balneological tourism and ecotourism are also well developed. The current study aims to identify and map the spatial arrangements and temporal patterns of landscape change in Bansko municipality for the period 1990-2006 using satellite imagery. The land use/cover change data was provided by visual interpretation of orthorectified multispectral satellite im- agery and digital orthophoto. The remotely sensed data used include images from Landsat TM (1990) and Landsat ETM+ (2000), as well as high-resolution ortho-photo (2006). A wide variety of ancillary data was used, such as digital topographic and thematic maps, very high resolution satellite images, statistics, and in-situ data. GIS technology assisted the transformation of land use/cover changes into landscape change types where land cover changes were grouped and reclassified according to tion of landscape changes in the study area.
Key Words: Landscape changes, Land use/cover, Remote Sensing, GIS, Bansko municipality
Emilia Tcherkezova – Multi-scale fuzzy-landform classification of Arda, Varbitsa and Krumovitsa watershed basins (Eastern Rhodope mountains, Southern Bulgaria)
In this paper a landform classification from multi-resolution digital terrain models (DTM) is presented using fuzzy logic. The fuzzy feature extraction is based on two approaches: peak fuzzy classification and fuzzy landform classification in three watershed basins in Rhodope mointain, Southern Bulgaria – Arda, Varbitsa and Krumovitsa and in Ada Tepe Site (Krumovgrad municipality). The results of applying this process are fuzzy feature maps. They represent landform units corresponding to features (peaks, ridges, channels, plains and pits). The classification results were compared with topographic maps and geomorphological field investigation. It is concluded that the fuzzy methods are useful for the extraction of landform units in the investigation mountain areas both in watershed and also in high-resolution scales. They are also appropriate for geomorphologic research and can be combined with other geomorphological methods.
Key Words: Digital terrain Models (DTM), landform classification, geomorphometry, fuzzy logic, SRTM – Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) – LiDAR.
Еmilia Chorbadzhiyska – Assessment of the landscapes with conservation significance in Nature park Strandzhia
Protection of Nature in the first decade of the twenty-first century is the goal of many conventions, agreements, projects and plans such as the European Landscape Convention (2000), the UNESCO program “Тhe Man and Biosphere”, UNESCO convention “Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage”, Project “Corine Biotope”, “Natura 2000”, “Madrid Action Plan” (2008), and etc. Protection of landscapes with high conservation significance is a new step in this direction. The purpose of this article is to assess and identify the landscapes with conservation significance in the Nature park “Strandzhia”. For the aims of the project, a landscape map of the park, drawn by the author with ArcGis, has been used. Assessment of landscapes is made by the method of the grade. Eight evaluation criteria are selected. The created map includes landscapes from three different categories – category I includes landscapes with very high conservation significance; category II includes landscapes with high conservation significance and category III includes landscapes with low conservation significance.
The results show that landscapes with high and very high conservation values occupy about 70 percent of the park, but only a fraction of them are incorporated into the reserves and protected areas. We have to find ways to improve the conservation of these landscapes by creating areas with high concentration of high conservation landscapes where human intervention is limited.
Zoya Mateeva, Anton Filipov – Assessment of wind-power potential in certain regions of Northeastern Bulgaria: Krumovo
In this article the authors try to assess the potential for generating wind-power electricity in one of the regions with best wind resources in the country – North- eastern Bulgaria. The specific local geographical parameters are carefully considered on the basis of the case study area – the village of Krumovo and its surroundings. Other parameters are also taken into account, including: the proximity of the region to protected areas, the availability of wooded land and infrastructure, and land use. The wind resource climatic assessment involves analysis of the wind speed and direc- tion by hypsometric levels and altimetric profile above the ground surface. The wind energy potential is calculated, which enables to assess the effectiveness of electricity output in the region, produced by different kinds of wind generators. Besides, attention is paid to the occurrence of some adverse geodynamic processes which might disturb the construction and functioning of wind parks.
Stefan Velev – Changes in the average annual air temperatures and the annual precipitation on Musala peak
An important event was celebrated on 02.10.2012 – 80 years since the formal inauguration of the weather observatory on the highest peak in South East Europe, Musala, Rila Mountain. The idea of building a high-mountain meteorological station belongs to Austrian and German meteorologists and dates from the late 19th century. The first intention was to locate the station on Cherni Vruh peak, but in 1928 the officials from the Central Meteorological Institute accepted the sugges- tion of the great Bulgarian climatologist Kiro Kirov to construct the station on Musala peak. In 1929 the 7th Conference of Directors of Meteorological Services in Copenhagen decided to hold a Second Polar Year in 1932 and 1933. When the Head of the Bulgarian delegation informed his colleagues about the new station at Musala hut, the Chairman of the Conference and Director of the Danish Mete- orological Service Prof. Kour made a request to set up a meteorological station on Musala peak as well. The formation of a Special Committee “Musala Observatory” in 1931 launched a rapid and effective implementation of the idea. The necessary amount of 350 000 leva was collected from voluntary donations of many people and organizations led by the great merchant and lawyer Jacques Aseov, who donated over half of this sum. Just for one summer (the summer of 1932) the station on the peak was built with volunteer labour and donated materials. During the first year the observations were not regular because they were made once a day as the voluntary observers had to climb from the hut to the top. Since the beginning of 1934 the observations have been regular and have provided an overall picture of the climate on the summit.
Maria Temelkova – Status, problems and perspectives of the water systems in municipalities along the Danube in Northwestern Bulgaria
Water and sanitation sector is extremely important not only for urban develop- ment but also for overall economic and social development of settlements. The qual- ity of services provided through it largely determines the appearance of a location and its ability to attract investment for industrial development and tourism. The article discusses the status and problems of water supply and sewerage systems in the mu- nicipalities along the Danube in Northwestern Bulgaria and the possibilities for their development and improvement.
Vanya Vassileva – Analysis of the tourist exchange between Bulgaria and Romania
The 20th anniversary of the signing of a contract of friendship, cooperation, and neighborliness with the Republic of Romania was celebrated on 27 February 2012. Due to this the development of our bilateral relations is of great significance. Romanian tourist market can be deemed as important and especially perspective for our country. The aim of the article is to analyze the state of tourist exchange between Bulgaria and Romania and to outline its future perspectives which require analysis of a number of figures. The analysis uses the latest statistic data as well as publications of various authors who are directly or indirectly related to the problem.
Key Words: Romania, Bulgaria, tourist volumes
Ivanka Boteva – Bulgarian Geographers – among the leading Scientists in Europe
Valentin Mihaylov – With concern about the poor immigrants in Europe and the Bulgarian geographical science
Mitko Paskalev – Critical notes on the Monograph of Prof. Tsanko Tsankov, DSc in Geography, and Svetla Stankova, PhD, “Morphological Structure of Eastern Stara Planina”
Roumiana Vatseva – Statement concerning the article by Mariyana Nikolova “Environmental indicators for sustainable development and integrated coastal zone management”
As the IGIT project leader for Bulgaria (FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRSES (Grant № 247608) IGIT – Integrated geo-spatial information technology and its application to resource and environmental management towards the GEOSS) concerning the article in the current issue of “Problems of Geography”: “Environ- mental indicators for sustainable development and integrated coastal zone management” by Mariyana Nikolova, I would like to declare, that this material incorrectly refers to the project.
Ivanka Boteva – Tribute to the founder of Bulgarian Geographical Science – Academician Anastas Ishirkov