Parisian urban space diachronic analysis: a geomatic approach

ALPAGE is a geohistorical platform about Paris. Based on a work dynamic initiated in 2006 with the support of the Agence nationale de la recherche (French National Research Agency). This work then continued beyond the funded phase (2006-2010). The initial project brought together 20 researchers from Humanities and Social Sciences as well as Information and Communication Technology. Coordinated by Hélène Noizet (LAMOP), these historians, geomaticians and computer scientists have laid the foundations for a Geographic Information System (GIS) project of the pre-industrial Parisian area. The spatial reference data, produced for the beginning of the 19th century and for the medieval period, has been made freely available to the public on a webmapping platform and is available for download. The associated metadata allows identification of the sources and authors of those data.

The initial group – founded by 4 research laboratoires and built with many collaborating partners – has become a network of researchers and students working on the history of Paris with no dedicated funding. This work is regularly enriched by researchers from different backgrounds allowing for an broadening of themes and periods. Each contributor creates new geohistorical data of Paris based on their own personal interest. The website and webmapping platform – hosted by the Humanum TGIR – are updated once or twice a year and validated by the administrators (Hélène Noizet, Laurent Costa, Eric Grosso) and/or the editors of each thematic group (Boris Bove and Sandrine Robert). The website offers downloadable data, updated by the webmaster (Davide Gherdevich). The group is open to anyone who has spatially-related questions on the history of Paris.

A considerable amount of data has been produced not only on the medieval period but also on the modern period and the 19th century. As regards to the geographical scale of the project, which remains limited to Paris, a partnership with the programme Archéologies du Bassin Parisien of the UMR 7041 ArScAn has enabled access to geohistorical frameworks across the Parisian basin.

ALPAGE has also published a book: Paris de parcelles en pixels (Paris from patchs to pixels), as well as an early 19th century A1 and A2 format map of Paris (plan ALPAGE-Vasserot).