Lyons, the Spatial Analysis of a City in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Locating and Crossing data in a GIS Built from Written Sources

Abstract : The Lyons historical GIS was developed from the end of the 1990s. Its scope was to attain to a new understanding of the transformation of urban and social spaces through a spatialization of data at the buildings scale. We thought that by such a jump in precision of a factor 100, from a subdivision by 36 quarters to one by 3500 buildings in the modern period, the mapping would lead to new perspectives and results in urban history. This implied to work along two centuries through numerous and heavy archival records, taxes registers, censuses, building permits, property changes..., each one comprising generally between 3500 and 8000 entries, in order to create criticized data bases then vector GIS layers. This required developing a method to reveal the implicit spatiality of these written sources, and to establish a mapping topography, allowed by a careful and geometrically checked reconstruction of the city's plot pattern and its variation before 1800, thanks to many archival maps. It was also necessary to take into account the space transformation, studied at the very scale of individual investments, thanks to the building permits confronted to the still extant constructions, and the administrative record. The changing built-up and social spaces are a constant preoccupation in our work. In short, understanding the changing is absolutely necessary to analyze a situation at a given date, and it significant at different time scales in itself. This paper describes the way we achieved the intended goal, working together as a geographer who was also an historian, and an historian who became geographer. It develops some results and draws the research lines for which the work is advanced, in progress, or still to be done. One very interesting aspect of the method is that, once the historical address system has been established, in attributing successive owners to a same building, many sources become 'spatializable', even non serial ones, and so deliver new historical insights.
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Contributor : Gauthiez Bernard <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 6:36:50 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 2:44:34 AM



Gauthiez Bernard, Olivier Zeller. Lyons, the Spatial Analysis of a City in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Locating and Crossing data in a GIS Built from Written Sources. Susanne Rau, Ekkehard Schönherr. Mapping spatial relations, their perceptions and dynamics. the city today and in the past, Springer International Publishing Switzerland, pp.97-118, 2014, Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography, 978-3-319-00992-6. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-00993-3⟩. ⟨hal-01015132⟩



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