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Converting old European area units to sq km

Converting old European area units to sq km
by kradams on 05/03/02 at 14:25:33

I have some data on the size of German states in the 1800's that I am having trouble converting to sq km.  I wonder if anyone can help me identify the units in which these areas are expressed and convert them to sq km.

Here is a list of states for which I have both this "mystery data" and sq km:

Year,        Country,         "Surface" in Mystery Units,    Sq Km (000s),       Sq Km/Mystery unit

1822       Wurtemberg      355.23                              21                       .059
1822       Saxony                       338.35                         18                       .053
1822       Bavaria                1338.02                         78                       .058
1822       Hanover                683                                        39                       .057

Since there are a number of states for which I have only the mystery data (which is from the _Almanach de Gotha_, a French publication of the time), I would be very grateful if someone could help me identify the mystery units and provide me with the accepted factor for converting them to sq km.

Thanks!

Re: Converting old European area units to sq km
by Robert Fogt on 05/03/02 at 23:40:26

Each appears to have a different conversion factor.
Wurtemberg  16.9157
Saxony  18.7972
Bavaria  17.1541
Hanover  17.512

The mystery units may be something other than area. Maybe population per area???  or something like that.

Re: Converting old European area units to sq km
by Karen Adams on 05/08/02 at 16:43:14

Thanks for responding to my query!

I'm assuming the slightly different conversion factors are the result of measurement error since the numbers come from different sources.

I know the mystery units are not population densities because there is another column in the source for that data.  Moreover, the numbers given for population density are consistently equal to the population divided by the area in mystery units.

In reviewing the Almanach today, I found a passage that says that the area data is expressed in milles geographiques (nautical miles).  My understanding of nautical miles, though, is that they are a measure of length, not area.  Is that right?  Is there any way to convert nautical miles to sq km or sq mi?

Thanks!
Karen    :)

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