Objectives of the ALPAGE programme

The ALPAGE programme aims to provide collaborative tools for the Humanities and Social Sciences and for Information Communication Technology (ICT) allowing for the development of research about the Parisian urban area. This aim is achieved by means of a GIS that includes cadastral and historical layers.

The city of Paris has been selected due to the considerable interest evoked by the French capital within the scientific community and above all by its extraordinary potential for documentation: this historical material does exist but has not been fully exploited until now due to a lack of suitable tools.

GIS allows us to use semantic data as a starting point for exploring the spatial dimension of objects. It also allows the urban area to be considered as a source from which a historical discourse can be drawn.

Based on the desire to develop an interdisciplinary approach within Humanities and Social Sciences (history, geography, archaeology, art history, architecture, urbanism, etc.) and to establish synergies between Humanities and Social Sciences and ICT, the scientific objectives (outlined below) are multiple:

  • Build innovative pattern recognition tools adapted for ancient cadastral plans;
  • Make an assessment of the Parisian urban area according to a variable scale;
  • Integration of geographical and physical dimensions within societal-environmental relations;
  • Use explanatory models to demonstrate the geographical distribution of objects;
  • Analyse the morphology of plots and buildings on a city scale.

The ALPAGE programme's work is therefore centred around the building up of robust data which is likely to become reusable material freely available to everyone for future research.

A presentation of the methodologies and the initial achievements was made at a symposium held on the 7th and 8th june 2010 at the end of the phase of the project funded by the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche). This meeting resulted in the following publication:

Hélène Noizet, Boris Bove, Laurent Costa (dir.), Paris de parcelles en pixels. Analyse géomatique de l'espace parisien médiéval et moderne, Presses universitaires de Vincennes-Comité d'histoire de la Ville de Paris, 2013, 354 p.

From 2015 onwards, the ANR project's main participants will regroup through a research network made up of historians, archaeologists and geomaticians. These new quarterly work meetings aim to continue to enrich the data and discourse around geohistorical frameworks.


Associate Research Laboratories

The ALPAGE programme is based on the active collaboration of 4 research teams (3 Humanities and Social Sciences and 1 Information and Communication Technology) who signed a consortium agreement in 2009:

Scientific Collaborations

The members of the institutions designated below produce historical data for the ALPAGE programme:

Document Collaborations

Numerous maps and plans were generously made available or have been subject to agreed exchanges with the following institutions:


The following institutions provided financial support between 2006 and 2011:

  • ANR (The French National Research Agency);
  • CNRS (The National Center for Scientific Research).

The following are the institutions providing financial support from 2014-15:

  • LabEx DynamiTe (cluster of excellence "Territorial and Spatial Dynamics");
  • IUF (Institut Universitaire de France);
  • LAMOP (Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale de Paris);
  • The "Bassin parisien" programme in association with the ArScAn (Archéologies et Sciences de l'Antiquité) laboratory.


Authors of historical data (visible on the ALPAGE cartographic platform) are listed below in alphabetical order by name. The author's position at the time the data was created is also given:

  1. Bethe Anne-Laure (contractual): first version of all Vasserot data (supervised by the participants of the ANR project); Philippe Auguste wall (with Hélène Noizet); Charles V wall (with Nicolas Faucherre); data for the period 1300 and 1380 (with Caroline Bourlet);
  2. Bourlet Caroline (Research Engineer, IRHT): parishes, parish sub-district, road networks and urban blocks in 1300 and in 1380;
  3. Bove Boris (Lecturer, Paris-8): censives (territory ruled by a lord) in the 18th century (with Yoann Brault); aristocratic 'Hôtels' (aristocratic mansions) in 1300 and 1400;
  4. Brault Yoann (technician, National Archives): Fossés jaunes wall; 18th century censives (territory ruled by a lord) (with Boris Bove);
  5. Costa Laurent (Research Engineer, ArScAn): paleo-relief and floodplains according to the restoration of V. Krier;
  6. Descamps Benoît (secondary school teacher): butchers (with Laurent Mirlou);
  7. Faucherre Nicolas (Professor, Nantes): Charles V wall (with Anne-Laure Bethe);
  8. Fernandez Mathieu (PhD student, CNAM): digital terrain map 1810;
  9. Gherdevich Davide (post-doc, LAMOP): Roman wall, urban blocks in 1553, 1652 and 1741;
  10. Hermenault Léa (student M1 and M2 Paris-1): archaeological road remains; archaeological sites next to the Seine;
  11. Lallau Etienne (student M1, then PhD student): archaeological wall remains (12th-17th century), wall towers and doors, churches (supervised by I. Brian, N. Deflou-Leca, A. Massoni-Hubert, H. Noizet);
  12. Mirlou Laurent (M1 and M2 student, Paris-1): sewers, fountains, wells, butchers (with Benoît Descamps), floods in 1740 and 1910, watershed in 1740;
  13. Noizet Hélène (Lecturer, Paris-1): Carolingian wall, Philippe Auguste wall (with Anne-Laure Bethe);
  14. Prodhomme Marie (M2 student, Paris-1): boundary markers, building prohibition boundaries and 'Faubourg' (suburb) road networks (17th-18th century);
  15. Robert Sandrine (MAST, Paris-1): Plot frame with an orientation of 67°-75°;
  16. Rouet Paul (retired from APUR): second version of Vasserot data, Fermiers généraux wall, hydrography Verniquet.