Montréal l'avenir du passé (MAP)

Project start date: 2000-05 Project end date: 2017-08
Montréal l'avenir du passé (MAP) was established in 2000 to create an historical GIS research infrastructure for 19th and 20th century Montréal. We have digitized six highly detailed historical maps representing all buildings in the city for 1825, 1846, 1880, 1912, 1949 and 2000. The first three and last have been geo-referenced and we have successfully "peopled" them by linking at the street-scape (1846) or lot level (1880 & 2000) census returns, tax records, city directories and a wide variety of non-routinely generated sources. The project is currently focusing on turn of the century Montréal. Databases and interactive maps for the 19th century are available. A cd entitled "MAP: le 19e siècle/The 19th Century" was launched in October 2010 and is now available from our web site
Subject domains: 
Methods usedCategory
2d scanningPractice-led research
2d Scanning and photographyData capture
Resource sharingCommunication and collaboration
Disk publishingData publishing and dissemination
Content analysisData analysis
Data miningData analysis
Desktop publishing and pre-pressData publishing and dissemination
DocumentationStrategy and project management
Geo-referencing and projectionData structuring and enhancement
Graphical interaction (asynchronous)Communication and collaboration
Heads-up digitising and interactive tracingData capture
Image feature measurementData analysis
OverlayingData analysis
Record linkagesData analysis
Searching and queryingData analysis
Version controlStrategy and project management
Text recognitionData capture
Textual interaction (asynchronous)Communication and collaboration
VisualisationData analysis
text miningData analysis
preservationStrategy and project management
Spatial data analysisData analysis
Statistical analysisData analysis
Collaborative publishingData publishing and dissemination
User contributed contentData publishing and dissemination
Image restorationData structuring and enhancement
Funding sources: 
Geoide, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Content types created: 
Dataset/structured data, Spatial, Still Image/Graphics, Text
Software tools used: 
ArcView, ArcGIS, Adobe Illustrator, Visual dBase, Paint Shop Pro, ArcExplorer
Source material used:  
We started by compiling the CAD files from the municipal planning office into a GIS for the city, which we then used to geo-reference scanned versions of a Charles E Goad & Co. insurance map (1880), a commercial map (1846) and an ordinance survey (1825). We then linked these maps to tax rolls for 1825, 1832, 1848 and 1880, complete Canadian census returns for the city in 1825, 1842, 1881 as well as a 20% sample from the 1901 census, city directories for 1819, 1820, 1848 and 1880-81. The modular nature of the programme allows researchers to add their own databases to the system. To date these include pew rentals, notarial deeds, land transactions from the seigneurial terrier, fire insurance policies, pay books, and records on school attendance, paupers' burials, infant mortality, marriages and baptismal records.
Digital resource created:  
Esri shape files for the entire city of Montréal in 1825, 1846, 1880 and 2000 linked to period sources. A shape file of all conceded farms in the seigneury of Montréal island, linked to commutation records. Shape files of the town/city centre, 1825-1912 linked to the seigneurial terrier. A library of digitized maps of Montréal 1825-1949. A 20% constructed sample of the 1901 census for the city of Montréal. A corrected version of the complete 1881 census return for the city. Stand alone databases and interactive maps for resource dissemination. Using OCR, we created a database of who owned the city in 1903.
Data Formats created: 
dBase Database (DBF), JPEG, TIFF
We have nine pedagogical applications using the Arc Explorer interface from Esri. One each for 1825 and 1846, five for 1880 and one comparing the built environments of 1880 to 2000. Stand alone database programmes have been created for city directories (1819, 1829 & 1880) tax rolls (1825 & 1832) census returns (1825) apprenticeship contracts (1820-29) and monetary protests by chartered banks (1820-1827).
Metadata standards employed: 
Dublin Core, qualified (DC)
"Montréal l'avenir du passé: le 19e siècle/The 19th century." Cd-rom, St John's: MMS Atlantic, 2010.
“Rethinking boundaries: interdisciplinary lessons from the Montréal l’avenir du passé (MAP) project” Digital Studies/ Le champ numérique 1, 2 (2009).
“Property and Gender: Lessons from a 19th Century Town.” London Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol. 22, 2006/2007 9-34.
“Urban Ecology of Social Segregation in an Industrializing Town” Proceedings of the 20th International Congress of Historical Sciences, Edited by Martyn Lyons. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press & InCompass, 2006
Risky Spaces: The Montreal Fire Insurance Company 1817-1820.” Les territoires de l’entreprise. Claude Bellavance & Pierre Fournier (dirs). Ste-Foy, Les Presses de l’Université Laval. 2004, 9-23.
«Paysans et propriétés : Les commutations montréalaises, 1840-1859.» Famille et marché XVIe—XXe siècles. Christian Desseureault, John Dickinson et Joseph Goy (dirs). Sillery, Septentrion, 2003, 161-6.
“MAP: Montréal l’avenir du passé. Sharing geodatabases, yesterday today and tomorrow.” Geomatica, 57, 2 (2003) p.145-54.

Institutions affiliated with this project: 

UK HE institutions involved:
McGill University
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Bibliothèque et Archives national du Québec

Project staff and expertise: 

Principal staff member:Sherry Olson, Robert C.H. Sweeny
Other staff:
External expertise:

Metadata on this record
Author(s) of recordRobert Sweeny
TitleMontréal l'avenir du passé (MAP)
Record created2010-02-18
Record updated2011-07-07 18:21
URL of record
Citation of recordRobert Sweeny: Montréal l'avenir du passé (MAP).
created: 2010-02-18, last updated 2011-07-07 18:21