Whilst in theory there is a case for recording the mapping base version, we need to be careful of getting too caught up in the recording of the recording of the records. A polygon is a tool to enable one to manage the physical remains: where and how that polygon is generated may be entirely serendipitous or arbitrary but no less useful. Polygons can be generated from geo-referenced surveys and aerial photographs as well. Moreover, we all know that monuments do not end abruptly as soon as you cross a polygon line, and the line is only an indication of where the special interest or management regime begins/ends. It is axiomatic that a monument boundary will change with time, so one way to record changing ideas about the area of importance of a monument is to create separate monuments with unique polygons rather than changing the polygon for a single monument. Indeed, the map version that allows one to polygonise a monument at one point in time could be entered as a Source. However, one has to ask if the history of the development of a monument boundary is as crucial to management as the history of investigation and understanding of the monument given by the Events and Sources data sets. I think I would be doing this only for special, selected case studies of monuments where boundary problems are a particular issue. As with all science, how a particular idea or hypothesis about a monument (which is what the polygon is) is generated is not as important as whether or not that idea is testable against the sources, and more particularly, the events or field evidence. In the constrained world of priorities, I would suggest that particular boundary lines are less important than an understanding of the monument and its context (cf. my contributions to the FISH autumn conference).
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Do other SMRs record the survey date of the underlying OS map layer used to
plot individual monument or event polygons?
It seems to me important to record this as part of the metadata for a map
object. In ten or more years time, the base maps will have changed and an
area may have been redeveloped; an SMR database user may be left wondering
how the shape of a polygon was derived.
Also, some polygons may have been traced from raster layers of historic
maps, in which case the name/scale/date needs to be recorded.
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