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Urban mapping of Cadiz during the War of Spanish Succession: a paradigm of the cartography enterprise undertaken by the Military Engineer Corps

Joaquín Aguilar-Camacho, Gabriel Granado-Castro, José Antonio Barrera-Vera


The War of Spanish Succession, as a consequence of the fight between Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties to grab the Spanish throne, not only supposed a structural change in the Spanish Kingdom but also paved the way to a huge reform of the cartographic style in the urban representation. This reform had been growing up along the seventeenth century, since further geometric precision was needed in this period. So, the urban cartography was losing the threedimensional representations whilst leading to standard mapping projections. In this way, within the urban representation context, the pragmatism of the seventeenth century urban maps would substitute the former hegemony of chorographic views. In this background, during this period, Cadiz became the best exponent of the territorial and urban cartographic representation due its important role as the main stronghold of the kingdom and route header between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean sea.

In this paper the most characteristic urban plans of Cadiz during the first quarter of the seventeenth century will be analysed from a cartometric point of view. It is a clear example of the vital transformation suffered by the cartography style introduced by the “Corps royal du Gènie” and it was continued by the newlycreated Spanish Military Engineer Corp as a consequence of this conflict. The cartometric analysis carried out has made possible to check the scale, orientation and planimetric accuracy of the maps. As a consequence, these documents must be considered as an actual instrument of power and military planification in a serious moment for the safety of the kingdom.



differential distortion; planimetric accuracy; Cadiz; engineer corps; historical cartography.

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Copyright (c) 2019 Joaquín Aguilar Camacho; Gabriel Granado-Castro; José Antonio Barrera-Vera

ISSN 1828 5961
Registration at L'Aquila Law Court no 3/15 on 29th June, 2015.
Indexed in SCOPUS. Diamond Open Access. All papers are subjected to double blind peer review system by qualified reviewers.

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