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Short course on Cartometric Analysis and Numerical Modelling (Feb 16 - Apr 27) by Joaquim Alves Gasp

The aim of this short course is to introduce the cartometric methods of geometrical analysis and numerical modelling applicable to the study of old charts and maps. Although it is primarily meant for the MEDEA-CHART research team, all professors, researchers and students are welcome to attend. Lectures will be in English.

Six sessions of 90 minutes are initially scheduled for February 16 and 23 February, and March 2, 9, 16 and 23, at 10.30h, room 6.2.52 ( except the dates 6, 13, 20, 27 April - room 8.2.14) of the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon. Additional sessions may be scheduled in the future. The main objective of project Medea-Chart (financed by the European Research Council) is to solve a series of crucial questions related to the origin, technical evolution and use of nautical charts during the Middle Ages and Early modern period.


  1. Introduction to Geodesy and map projections

  2. The Earth and its models.

  3. Geographical coordinates

  4. Geodetic networks

  5. Map projections

  6. Cartometric analysis and numerical modeling

  7. Control points

  8. Chart comparison and georreferencing

  9. Scale measurements

  10. Latitude and longitude assessment

  11. Magnetic declination

  12. Assessing courses and distances

  13. Numerical modeling

  14. Introduction to Map Analyst

  15. Introduction to the Empirical Map Projections (EMP) model

Suggested Reading

Joaquim Alves Gaspar (2005), Cartas e Projecções Cartográficas, 3ª Edição (Lisboa: Lidel, Edições Técnicas, Chapters 1 and 2.

Joaquim Alves Gaspar (2010), From the Portolan Chart of the Mediterranean to the Latitude Chart of the Atlantic: cartometric Analysis and Modeling. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Chapter 3.

Bernhard Jenny (2006), ‘Map Analyst: a digital tool for the analysis of the planimetric accuracy of historical maps’. e-Perimetron, 1, 3, 239-245.

Bernhard Jenny, Adrian Weber & Lorenz Hurni (2010), ‘Visualizing the Planimetric Accuracy of Historical Maps with Map Analyst’. e-Perimetron, 42, 1, 89-94.

Joaquim Alves Gaspar (2011), ‘Using Empirical Map Projections for Modeling Early Nautical Charts’, in Anne Ruas (ed), Advances in Cartography and GIScience, Volume 2 (Berlin Heidelberg: Springer), 227-247.

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