Objectives of the ALPAGE programme

The ALPAGE programme aims at providing collaborative tools for Social Sciences and  Information Communication Technology (ICT) research on the Parisian urban area . ALPAGE supports this research through a GIS platform including cadastral and historical layers of data.

The city of Paris has been selected due to its considerable interest within the scientific community and by its large documentation potential: the historical material exists but has not been fully exploited until now due to a lack of suitable tools.

The GIS platform 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 suited 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 building robust data freely available to everyone for future research.

At the end of the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) funding phase, during a symposium held on June 7th and 8th 2010, ALPAGE gave a presentation of its methodology and initial achievements. 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 of historians, archaeologists and geomaticians. These new quarterly work meetings aim to continue enriching the data and discourse around geohistorical frameworks.