Historical cartography

Historical cartography is one of the hallmarks of the Historical Soundscapes digital platform. The geolocation on these maps is more or less complex depending on the detail and precision with which they have been drawn up. We will progressively incorporate the maps of those cities that significantly increase the number of locations and that have historical maps that are of interest for this project.

Below we provide brief information about the historical maps available to users at the moment.



Map of the Siege of Barcelona (1697)

Of unknown author, it shows the layout of the city, indicating the names of some of the most important gates, squares, and streets and drawing only a small number of significant buildings in a more precise manner.



Map by Ambrosio de Vico (c. 1600)

The map of the city of Granada, drawn by Ambrosio de Vico, was commissioned by Archbishop Pedro de Castro and accords well with the prevailing Counter-Reformation spirit of the time. It tacitly aimed to present the streets of Granada as an extended religious space in keeping with the spirit of Baroque ceremonial, and thus the sacred buildings are represented in much greater detail than those of municipal institutions or private residences. This map was destined to illustrate Justino Antolínez’s Historia eclesiástica de Granada (completed in 1611 although it was never published), a work whose primary aim was to justify the religious legitimacy of Granada, linking the city to the very origins of Christianity and simply passing over the centuries of Islamic occupation. The exact dates for either the drawing or the first engraving are unknown, but the drafting by the architect Ambrosio de Vico can be dated between 1590 and 1612, with some further details added when Francisco Helyan was about to produce the two copper plates towards 1612-1613. The plan measures 44.5 x 65 cm.

López Guzmán, Rafael J.; Gómez-Moreno Calera José Manuel and Moreno Garrido, Antonio, “La plataforma de Ambrosio de Vico: cronología y gestación”, Arquitectura Andalucía Oriental 2 (1984), 6–13.

Gómez-Moreno Calera, José Manuel. El arquitecto granadino Ambrosio de Vico. Granada: Universidad de Granada, 1992.

Calatrava, Juan and Ruiz Morales, Mario. Los planos de Granada 1500-1909. Granada: Diputación Provincial de Granada, 2005.

Topographical map of the city of Granada by Francisco Dalmau (1796)

In this map, Francisco Dalmau, a mathematics teacher with outstanding technical, scientific, historical, and artistic knowledge, achieved excellent results and marked a turning-point in the urban cartography of the city of Granada. It was drawn up at the request of the city council. It is a large-format map measuring 358 by 243 cm. An engraving of the original was made in Madrid by Francisco Ribera, on a scale of one-sixteenth of the original. It presents important innovations in cartography, including the fact that it was the first city plan realized according to topographical criteria. The map shows the planimetry of the most important sacred and civil buildings and includes the visible irrigation channels of the city and urban environment, as well as the network of main roads, and marks the cultivated areas with symbols to indicate vegetation, furrows, and ploughing.

García Pulido, Luis José. “Una precisa y artística representación gráfica del territorio granadino: el Mapa topográfico de la ciudad de Granada y su término de Francisco Dalmau (1819)”, Cuadernos de Arte de la Universidad de Granada 40 (2013), 171-198.



Map by Pedro de Texeira (1656)

The Mantua Carpetanorum sive Matritum Urbs Regia known as the map by Pedro de Texeira was probably commissioned by King Philip IV from this Portuguese cartographer. The preparation of the plan must have begun around 1648. It measures 180 x 285 cm (copy from the Biblioteca Nacional de España) and its scale is c. 1:1,840. It is drawn in perspective from the south of the city. Texeira must have finished his measuring and drawing work around 1653 and it depicts the geometric plan of the town, to which the elevations of the buildings and the internal distribution of the blocks were added in singular detail. The engraving process was carried out in Antwerp by Salomon Savery and the printing was done in the workshops of Jan and Jacob van Veerle. The engraving was executed on twenty plates measuring 57 x 24 cm, with slight differences between them, resulting in slight defects in the fit between them.

Vidaurre Jofre, Julio. El Madrid de Velázquez y Calderón. Vol. II. El plano de Texeira: lugares, nombres y sociedad. Madrid: Ayuntamiento de Madrid y Fundación Caja Madrid, 2000.

Gea Ortigas, María Isabel. Guía del Plano de Texeira, 4ª edición. Madrid: La Libería, 2019.



Map by Pablo de Olavide (1771)

The first complete detailed plan of the city of Seville, commissioned in 1768 by its local administrator Pablo de Olavide, was completed in a rigorously scientific manner by the engineer Francisco Manuel Coello and engraved by José Amat in 1771. It measures 86 x 108 cm (copy of the Biblioteca Nacional de España) and its scale is c. 1:2,600. This map reflects very precisely the urban fabric of the city, combines the representation of blocks, orchards, and roads with the more or less schematic elevation of religious and municipal buildings, and even included what today is termed street furniture.

Ollero Lobato, Francisco; Pro Jiménez, Reyes y Caballero Gómez, Gumersindo. 250 años de la creación del Plano de Pablo de Olavide en Sevilla (1771-2021). Sevilla: Fundación de Municipios Pablo de Olavide, 2021.



Map by Tomás Vicente Tosca (1704)

The Valentia edetanorum aliis contestanorum, vulgo del Cid map was drawn up in 1704 by the mathematician, cosmographer and architect Tomás Vicente Tosca. It had a precedent in the Nobilis ac regia civitas Valentie in Hispania, dated 1608 and whose draftsman or engraver was Antonio Manceli. Tosca's map was commissioned by the Valencia City Council. It is a meticulous plan that constitutes a vertical projection of the street map and in which the buildings are depicted in perspective, with greater or lesser detail and fidelity according to their importance, also incorporating crops and trees. The map we are mapping is the original drawn by Tosca in pen and slightly colored with watercolor and measures 203.5 x 267.5 cm, with an approximate scale of 1:810.

El plano de Valencia de Tomás Vicente Tosca (1704). Coordinate by Joan J. Gavara. Valencia: Generalitat Valenciana, 2003.

Rosselló, Vicenç M., “Tomàs V. Tosca y su entorno ilustrado en Valencia. Obra autógrafa y atribuciones”, Ería 64-65 (2004), 159-176.



Map by Ventura Seco (1738)

Ventura Seco, cartographer and notary to the king, completed the map of Valladolid on 20 November 1738. For its production, he had measured, one by one, all the streets, squares and surroundings of the city in order to produce an accurate map of the city. The only manuscript copy measures 110 x 80 cm and its scale is 1:3,500. It shows the layout of the streets and the projection of the elevations of the buildings, as well as the fields and roads that bordered the city centre.

Balsa Carrera, José María. Bentura Seco y su mapa de Valladolid. En testimonio de verdad. Valladolid: Ayuntamiento de Valladolid, 2014.


Granada. Map by Ambrosio de Vico  (c. 1600)

Granada. Map by Ambrosio de Vico (c. 1600)