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The project

About the project

MAP stands for “Montréal, l’avenir du passé” (Montréal, The Future of the Past). The project is based on a Historical Geographic Information System (HGIS) that harnesses historical data to support ongoing research. Beginning in 2000, it was developed by a dozen graduate students working in a range of disciplines — including architecture, urban planning, history, geography, and epidemiology.

Consistent with the original objective (see www.mun.ca), the site was designed with room to grow. The maps were our playground, and we wanted to allow for new features, new variables, and new sources to be added as new friends arrived to play. Thanks to the work of these many contributors (see Contributors), you can access data, download layers, and use them to support your own research.

Where did all this information come from? A single source is never enough. Jump to Our Gorgeous Sources for an overview of the sources used in MAP.

Sherry Olson and Robert C.H. Sweeny, MAP project

The MAP project and the CIEQ,
showcasing the past driven into the future

The CIEQ strongly supports making research data available for sharing. We were therefore excited to become involved in this project, which aims to showcase the large sets of demographic microdata collected over the years by Sherry Olson and Robert C.H. Sweeny — and by their many collaborators — as part of the «MAP: Montréal, l’avenir du passé».

Since 2015, the CIEQ’s team of professionals has leveraged its expertise to develop a flexible and user-friendly site for exploring maps. We have succeeded in consolidating our unique computing know-how and applying it to tasks ranging from the development of a Historical Geographic Information System (HGIS) to the design of a dynamic graphic interface. The fruits of our labour also make it possible to integrate other historical GIS projects within the CIEQ webspace.

Indeed, the site is based on a new map engine capable of cross-referencing multiple large sets of microdata, including those based on the Canadian censuses of 1881 and 1901. Using various interactive thematic maps, you can observe Montréal from multiple perspectives. Would you rather take a bird’s eye view of the city or stroll through its various neighbourhoods? Whatever your choice, the site offers a completely new way of experiencing Montréal at the turn of the twentieth century, when the city was experiencing spectacular growth.

We hope you enjoy your visit!

Claude Bellavance Director CIEQ-UQTR
Yvan Rousseau Director CIEQ-UQTR
(through 2017)
Marc St-Hilaire Director CIEQ-Laval

Scientific directors
Sherry Olson, McGill University
Robert C.H. Sweeny, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Joint directors of the CIEQ
Claude Bellavance,
UQTR (2017-2018)
Thierry Nootens, UQTR
Yvan Rousseau, UQTR
(through 2017)
Marc St-Hilaire, U.Laval
Members of the CIEQ's scientific committee
Aline Charles, U. Laval
François Guérard, UQAC
(through 2018)
Ollivier Hubert, U. Montréal
Thierry Nootens, UQTR
France Normand, UQTR
(through 2017)
Yvan Rousseau, UQTR
(through 2018)
Hélène Vézina, UQAC
CIEQ coordinators
Mélanie Lanouette, U. Laval / UQTR
Étienne Rivard, U. Laval
(through 2016)
English copy editor
Steven Watt
French translator
Karen Dorion-Coupal
Jean-François Hardy
and Philippe Desaulniers, CIEQ
Jean-François Hardy, Tomy Grenier, Émilie Lapierre Pintal and Adam Lemire, CIEQ
Graphic designer
Émilie Lapierre Pintal, CIEQ
Jonathan Bernier, UQTR
Simon Dufour, UQTR
Adam Lemire, UQTR


For additional information or to make suggestions,
contact info@cieq.ca
Sherry Olson
  Dept. of Geography
McGill University
805 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montréal, QC, H3A 0B9
Robert C.H. Sweeny
  Dept. of History
Memorial University
of Newfoundland
St John's TN A1C 5S7
THIS SITE WAS CREATED BY THE Centre interuniversitaire d'études québécoises (CIEQ) Learn more about the CIEQ team MAP project and Centre interuniversitaire d’études québécoises © All rights reserved.
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