Historical Geographical Information Systems

How can we use ancient document to reconstruct cities of the past?

How can we develop methodologies to extract information from ancient maps and cadaster?

How can we trace the evolution of frontiers?

How can we reconstruct road and maritime networks?

How can we store and query geohistorical data?



Repopulating Paris: massive extraction of 4 Million addresses from city directories between 1839 and 1922

I. di Lenardo; R. Barman; A. B. Descombes; F. Kaplan 

In 1839, in Paris, the Maison Didot bought the Bottin company. Sébastien Bottin trained as a statistician was the initiator of a high impact yearly publication, called “Almanachs” containing the listing of residents, businesses and institutions, arranged geographically, alphabetically and by activity typologies (Fig. 1). These regular publications encountered a great success. In 1820, the Parisian Bottin Almanach contained more than 50 000 addresses and until the end of the 20th century the word “Bottin” was the colloquial term to designate a city directory in France. The publication of the “Didot-Bottin” continued at an annual rhythm, mapping the evolution of the active population of Paris and other cities in France.The relevance of automatically mining city directories for historical reconstruction has already been argued by several authors (e.g Osborne, N., Hamilton, G. and Macdonald, S. 2014 or Berenbaum, D. et al. (2016). This article reports on the extraction and analysis of the data contained in “Didot-Bottin” covering the period 1839-1922 for Paris, digitized by the Bibliotheque nationale de France. We process more than 27 500 pages to create a database of 4,2 Million entries linking addresses, person mention and activities.

Abstracts and Posters from the Digital Humanities 2019 conference


Digital Humanities Conference 2019 (DH2019), Utrecht , the Netherlands, July 9-12, 2019.

DOI : 10.34894/MNF5VQ

A Network Analysis Approach of the Venetian Incanto System

Y. Rochat; M. Fournier; A. Mazzei; F. Kaplan 

The objective of this paper was to perform new analyses about the structure and evolution of the Incanto system. The hypothesis was to go beyond the textual narrative or even cartographic representation thanks to network analysis, which could potentially offer a new perspective to understand this maritime system.

DH 2014 book of abstracts


Digital Humanities 2014, Lausanne, July 7-12, 2014.

Modeling Venice’s maritime network – End 13th to Mid. 15th centuries

M. Fournier; Y. Rochat 


International Workshop ERC World Seastems – Maritime Networks in Space and Time, Paris, June 16-18, 2014.