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Habsburg cartography with French scientific flair. The circulation of mapmaking principles in the eighteenth century through the example of the Ferraris maps

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Soetkin Vervust


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Between 1770 and 1778, the Belgian territory was uniformly mapped on a scale of 1:11,520 and 1:86,400 by the Artillery Corps of the Austrian Netherlands under the guidance of count de Ferraris. The mapping project is a good example of the extensive, detailed surveys that started to emerge in the 18th century in Western Europe. This new form of mapmaking was characterised by its use of more accurate surveying techniques and its uniformity of style and content. France was particularly trend-setting here, becoming the first country to produce a truly scientific map of its entire territory and in the process influencing many other extensive mapping projects, including Ferraris’. This article focuses on this exchange of cartographic knowledge across international borders, by looking at the extent to which the formal aspects of the maps and the surveying procedure were inspired by the French.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vervust S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Caert Thresoor

Year: 2015

Volume: 34

Issue: 2

Pages: 88-97

Acceptance date: 24/02/2015

ISSN (print): 0167-4994

ISSN (electronic): 2543-0874

Publisher: Caert-Thresoor