MAP Montreal the future of the past | MAP Montréal : l’avenir du passé

HomeMAP Montreal the future of the past | MAP Montréal : l’avenir du passé

The MAP project has matched large historical databases - census, taxroll or directory - to addresses on maps of Montreal. Searching the geobase makes possible to identify and situate individual people from the past. Samples or populations captured from other sources can also be sought, matched, compared or analysed using the MAP databaes.

How it works

The layers of household points, lots, and census divisions were created from historical map images. The drawing of this building was was made to assess its value for  expropriation and demolition in 1894, to widen Brock street. It is one of the ___000 buildings  retraced from the Goad Atlas of 1880 for situating the census households (1881).  (The layer of building footprints appears in red against a background plate from the Atlas.)  MAP files allow a mix-and-match of images, map layers, and the data behind them - names, addresses, rents, household sizes, occupations, religious affiliation or business. The building was probably built in the year after the Great Fire of 8-9 July 1852, on foundations of an earlier building visible on the Cane map of 1846.


Vital DOCUMENTATION of the MAP project, its history, the way the system works, is presented in two essential documents

* DocuMAP1903 (pdf)

* DocuMAP1881 (pdf)

EXAMPLES of the ways scholars are using the MAP layers and documents

* A MAP gallery for 1880-1881

* A MAP gallery for 1901-1903-1912

* Student projects

* Buildings in Montreal's Chinatown (a ppt)

* Diseases by ward and by decade 1901-1961 (a poster designed in ppt)

* Market vendors' journey to work 1848, 1861 and 1881 (ppt)


Downloadable Layers, Documents, and Images

* Titles of Geonode Layers for mapping

* Titles of related databases available as Geonode Documents

* Titles of the series of historic map images available as map layers


The original map imagery is offered in two full-colour jpg formats:

* the original scan of the plate (or half-plate) from the Atlas

* the image georegistered is convenient for display of adacent plates, as a mosaic, or as an underlay for modern building footprints... These are projected ... Edge matching is imperfect, and registration is not fully achieved for some portions of the 1912 series.

To choose the image(s) you want from a large series, view and click the index map layer for the series, for example:

* Index layer to Adams map of Montreal 1825.

* Index layer to Montreal Terrier of 1834 (Lots)

* Index layer to Cane map of Montreal 1846

* Index layer to military and waterworks maps of Montreal ca 1868

* Index layer to Hopkins atlas of Montreal 1879

* Index layer to Goad atlas of Montreal 1881 (inxg1881)

* Index layer to Goad atlas of Montreal 1890 (inxg1890)

* Index layer to Pinsonneault atlas of Montreal 1907 (pindx07)

* Index layer to Goad Atlas of Montreal and suburbs 1912 (inxg1912)

* Index layer to Land use plan of Montreal Island 1949

* Index layer to USB (insurance) Atlas of Montreal Island 1963

Each image (Layer) has a companion Document of the same title to provide Metadata, and sometimes (in pdf) a Legend or 'key' for map interpretation: the plate which shows the symbols for covered passages, fire hydrants and hazards (oil tanks), and color codes for structural materials. Further documentation on the atlases can be found on websites of BAnQ ... and Ville de Montréal... The scale at which the original lithograph plates were printed sets a limit to the scale at which you will want to make an analysis of building sizes, for example.


The potential of the MAP system and applications are further extended in three other websites:* The site, created at Memorial University by Robert Sweeny, provides documentation and discussion of the project as a whole: MAP − Montréal l'avenir du passé . It offers additional download packages: applications in QGIS and ArcExplorer, and databases for earlier years: the 1825 census, taxroll, and digital map, apprenticeships and bank protests.

* This site, offered in both French and English, makes comparisons between 1881 and 1901, describes many of the contributors and users of MAP data, and allows you to prowl the whole city in 1881 or to zoom in to thirty neighbourhoods in 1901.

* created at the Laboratoire d'histoire et de patrimoine de Montréal, presents an interactive cartography of MAP data for 1881: households in the taxroll, census & Lovell directory

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