Over the centuries, farm buildings, which accompany the development of agriculture, have played an important role in defining spatial and environmental planning. In some European countries in particular, these rural structures have been built based on traditional agricultural needs and typical land characteristics. Considering the land abandonment that has occurred over the last five decades, with farmers moving to more comfortable residences in neighboring urban settlements, historical farm buildings have often been abandoned, thus causing a leakage of the historical-cultural heritage of the rural landscape. Nowadays, open data and geographic technologies together with advanced technological tools allow us to gather multidisciplinary information about the specific characteristics of each farm building, thus improving our knowledge. This information can greatly support the protection of those buildings and landscapes that have high cultural and naturalistic value. In this paper, the potential of Geographic Information Systems to catalogue the farm buildings of the Basilicata region (Southern Italy) is explored. The analysis of these buildings, traditionally known as masserie
, integrates some typical aspects of landscape studies, paving the way for sustainable management of the important cultural heritage represented by vernacular farm buildings and the rural landscape.
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