Variations in the thickness of urban soil in Paris from 1807-2016: Topo-historical method and cartography

Information systems and urban management (18th-21st centuries)
By Mathieu Fernandez

One the one hand, this text presents a set of observations about the cartographic history of Paris, whose a section seems to be since always lacunar: the progression of the topographic control of relief during the first half of 19th century. The historic enquiry shows that this chapter is an indispensable complement to grasp the evolutions of the urban cartography and the beginnings of an urban practice in Paris, partly occurred by some Second Empire texts. On the second hand, it gives a report about a new cartographic data production, giving access to an actual contribution about urban morphology. Metabolism studies ask for example the question of the knowledge of the stock of anthropic matter contained in a city. We demonstrate that the knowledge and the treatment by geographical information systems (GIS) of historical cartographical relief can significantly contribute to this question.


  • Paris
  • ‘Fermiers Généraux’ wall
  • relief
  • urban planning
  • topography
  • cartography
  • morphology
  • dynamic
  • urban ground
  • GIS
  • 19th century
  • 20th century
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