The COVADEO project was initiated with the collection of historical maps of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. These maps all allow the reading of the road network. 440 maps have been collected so far, and among them 286 have been georeferenced. They come from various sources, such as departmental archives, municipal libraries and Gallica (belonging to the Bibliothèque nationale de France). They were then stored in a geo-historical database which structure has been thought out in order to allow optimal storage and access to the data. The idea of the project is to associate a serious game with this database to ensure the vectorization of the exisiting road network on the historical maps. These vectorized data will allow to conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses on the evolution of the networks through time. The project is supported by the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, the UBFC and the ThéMA laboratory.

The team

Claire LAGESSE is a geomatician and teacher-researcher at the UMR ThéMA (University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, UMR CNRS 6049). Her research focuses on the construction and analysis of complex spatial networks. She studies in depth the morphological structures of road graphs in order to explore different cities around the world from this angle. Her thesis, "Lire les lignes de la ville. Méthodologie de caractérisation des graphes spatiaux" (2015) proposes a grammar to reading them. She also works on geohistorical data, observing the diachronic evolution of the road network. Her research focuses on a spatio-temporal approach, supported by multidisciplinary collaborations with urban planners, architects, anthropologists, geographers, physicists and computer scientists.

Hanae EL GOUJ is an architect, who graduated in 2017 (National School of Architecture of Rabat, Morocco), and an urban planner, since 2019 (Master in urbanism and planning - INSA and ENSA of Strasbourg, France). She is currently working on her PhD thesis in geography and urban planning at the ThéMA laboratory (University of Bourgogne - Franche-Comté, UMR CNRS 6049). Her thesis work, entitled "Modélisation et simulation prospective de la morphogenèse des réseaux routiers à partir de données géohistoriques", aims at better understanding the progressive structuring of road networks.

Christian RINCÓN-ACOSTA, Émilie MATHIS and Émeline VIÉRON-LEPOUTRE, students of the Master ADAUR in Geography, Land planning, Environment and Development of the University of Franche-Comté (UFC) ; Lamiae BOURAQIA, student in Licence of Geography and Land Planning (UFC) ; Clément SEBASTIAO, student in the ENS of Lyon ; supported the project during tutorial projects or internships.

The Lab

ThéMA is a research laboratory specialised in theoretical and quantitative geography. Within the COMUE Bourgogne Franche-Comté, it associates the CNRS and the Universities of Bourgogne (Dijon site) and Franche-Comté (Besançon site, headquarters of the laboratory). The laboratory is organised into three thematic areas: (1) Landscape and living environment, (2) Mobility, city and transport, (3) Territorial intelligence. The research conducted within ThéMA focuses on the design, development, use and promotion of quantitative methods to analyse spatial structures and dynamics. They cover a wide spectrum, from fundamental to applied research, including:

  • Theoretical approaches: urban models, formalisation of stakeholder organisations, ontologies of geographic information.
  • Original protocols for data acquisition in the field: surveys and sensors in the Arctic environment, capture of mobility using ICTs.
  • The design and development of spatial modelling methods: spatial and landscape metrics, analysis of transport networks, simulation and territorial forecasting tools.

This work is carried out with aiming to assist decision-making in spatial planning, for the improvement of living environments and the implementation of sustainable development. It involves the development of software and territorial observatories, tools for which the laboratory has specific know-how.