Riding the wave


Cartography in Italy: new methods and instruments from 700 to today.
Genoa, Palazzo Ducale 21-22 June 2007

La cartografia in Italia: nuovi metodi e strumenti dal 700 a oggi. Genova, Palazzo Ducale
21-22 giugno 2007.
A cura del
Consiglio Nazionale Geometri
in collaborazione con
Comitato Regionale Ligure dei Collegi dei Geometri
Collegio dei Geometri di Genova

The conference in the Hall of Great Council of the Ducal Palace, inclueded four sessions: opening ceremony, historical charts, official State charts, and the impact of new technologies on geographic communication.

From the left: the Director of the Navy Hydrographic Istitute, Admiral P. Cagnetti; P. Panunzi, president of the National Council of Surveyors; L. Piccinelli, Chairman of the Board of Surveyors of Genoa, A. Dimundo, President of the Court of Genoa.

In particular, on June 21 the "World Hydrography Day" was celebrated, to commemorate the founding in 1921 of the International Hydrographic Organization with headquarters in Monaco. The Director of the Navy Hydrographic Institute, Admiral Pierpaolo Cagnetti, made a speach on the "The electronic chart, an essential instrument for safety at sea and the development of marine activities".

Within the celebration the Hydrographic Institute has signed a major agreement with Regione Liguria, represented by president Claudio Burlando.

The signing of the agreement ...
... and a cordial exchange of gifts

Further submissions emphasized the importance of historical charts as documentary sources, essential for the study and a thorough knowledge of the territory; and offered an insight on the study of Italian cartography and its future prospects through the description of current peculiarities and ongoing projects at the different cartographic Agencies, namely the Army Geographical Institute, the Directorate General of Cartography, Cadastre and Real Estate, the Hydrographic Institute of the Navy, the Geological Service of Italy, the Geo-topographic Information Centre of the Air Force and the Regions. It was thus possible to open a discussion on the new horizons offered by modern information technology in the geographical scenario.

The theme of the first day of work on the coordination of Massimo Quaini, University of Genoa, was: Maps and mapmakers: timeliness of proto-geometric cartographic documents, with the following contributions:

· Mario Bevilacqua - University of Florence
Surveyors and land registers in Italy in the 18th century

· Luisa Rossi - University of Parma
The birth of contour maps in Italy. The activities of the brigade Clerc in the Gulf of La Spezia

· Diego Moreno, Roberta Cavasco - University of Genoa
A source for the history and archaeology of vegetable resources: topographical maps of the Ligurian mountains

· Lorenzo Papa - Navy Hydrographic Institute and Sara Morucci - APAT
The fundamental tide gauge of Genova. Analysis of changes in sea level from 1884 to 2006

· Claudio Cerreti - University of Rome "La Sapienza"
Cartographers and maps over time

On the morning of June 22 were made the following reports, coordinated by Luigi Di Prinzio, IUAV University of Venice:

Carlo Colella - Commander of the Army Geographic Institute
Production and projects and the Army Geographic Institute

Carlo Cannafoglia - Managing Director of Cartography, Cadastre and Real Estate
The activities and projects of the Territorial Agency in the field of mapping

Pierpaolo Cagnetti - Director of the Navy Hydrographic Institute
The production and projects of the Navy Hydrographic Institute

Domenico Tacchia - Coordinator of the Cartographic Section - Geological Service of Italy
Production and projects at the Geological Service of Italy

Mario D'Antonio - Director of the Geo-topographic Information Centre of the Air Force
The production and projects of the Centre

Domenico Longhi - Coordinator of the Interregional Centre
Cartographic activities of the Regions and projects of the Interregional Centre

The work continued through the afternoon session entitled A science in the service of citizens: the new horizons of information and communication technology on the territory, coordinated by Fernando Sansò of the Politecnico di Milano:

Domenico Sguerso - University of Genoa
The satellite positioning services

Giovanni Bianchini - General Aerial Photographic Company
New Technologies for detection and geographic information

Mattia Crespi - University of Rome "La Sapienza"
The high-resolution satellite imagery for land management, training and updating of cartographic DB

Lucia Pasetti - Liguria Region
GIS and Web-GIS: the role of the Regions for a new concept of public service

Giovanni Biallo - Director of "GIS World"
Today's relevance of Information and Communication Technology in geography

Andrea Cantile - Army Geographical Institute
Challenges and wonders of an ancient but live profession: the social role of cartography in the twenty-first century

The conference ended with greetings from the President of the National Surveyors Council.

The conference was complemented by an exhibition, June 18 to 24, illustrating the theme of the event with charts and tools, coordinated by arch. Andrea Cantile of the Army Geographical Institute.

The Regional Minister Giovanni Battista Pittaluga inaugurated the exhibition; on his left L. Piccinelli, on his right Adm. P. Cagnetti and city councilor Bruno Pastorino
The beautiful rooms of the "Ammunition Basement" of the Palazzo Ducale, with a display of documents and instruments belonging to the various Mapping Agencies promoters of the event
Admiral Cagnetti shows president Claudio Burlando the "Thomson" tide-gauge, belonging to the collection of old instruments of the Hydrographic Insitute
Admiral Cagnetti, with Elisabetta Zamboni and Marco Carlevaro of the Hydrographic Institute, show to President Burlando the sounding device developed by GB Magnaghi, founder of the Hydrographic Institue
Arch. Andrea Cantile, curator of the exhibition, shows a collection of chisels, scrapers and other accessories for etching the copper plates of the charts exhibited
The "sferoscopio del Pino" (coordinates transformer that allows the reading of the coordinates of the stars) and the sextant with gold graduation, made at the Hydrographic Institute and assigned, among other instruments, to the Polar expedition of the Duke of Abruzzi
Arch. Cantile illustrates the Maritime Atlas of the Two Sicilies made by GA Rizzi Zannoni, owned by the Hydrographic Institute
The title-page of the Maritime Atlas by Rizzi Zannoni, and its copper plate, owned by the Army Geographic Institute, created by Christoph Kniep in 1792. Recently, the copper plate was restored by the Hydrographic Institute, together with the other 23 from which the Atlas, was printed, which were recently exhibited in Naples, at the Royal Palace, on the occasion of the exhibition The Maritime Atlas plates. Drawings and documents of the first major survey of the Kingdom of Naples, coordinated by prof. Vladimiro Valerio.
The inauguration of the exhibition was followed by a press conference to present the complex prestigious event organized by the National Council of Surveyors, in cooperations with the many technical institutions and universities mentioned above

To further underline the importance of the multi-faceted event, the Hydrographic Institute was opened to the public: for the first time in its history, nearly two hundred visitors, neatly divided into groups, were escorted along the rampart of the 16th century town walls on which, around 1820, the Savoy built a fortress that in 1860 housed an astronomical observatory and in 1872 became the seat of the Navy Hydrographic Institute.

Some visitors in the Electronic Chart Department
Ms. Paola Antonioli illustrates valuable scientific works and charts kept at the Library of the Hydrographic Institute

The composite prestigious event ended with the inauguration of "Nautica", the new Sales Office of the Hydrographic Institute at the Stazione Marittima of Genoa, in the presence of City Minister Roberta Morgano.

Roberta Morgano inaugurates the new sales office
Admiral Cagnetti illustrates some nautical documents on sale at the "Nautica" Office to the distinguished guests, including the wife of the late Admiral Luigi Durand De La Penne
Mrs. De La Penne, Roberta Morgano and commander Domenico La Faia, Head of External Relations at the Hydrographic Institute

On the occasion of the National Conference on Cartography in Italy ... the Army Geographical Institute - as stated in the Preface by its Commander Carlo Colella and by Piero Panunzi, president of the Surveyors National Council - published a facsimile reproduction of the first Italian edition (published in Florence in 1675) of Models of Topography - drawings and watercolors by AM Perrot.
Italian-French critical edition edited by Andrew Cantile (Florence, IGM, 2007).
Similarly, the Board of Surveyors of Genoa published a special issue (June 2007) of its review Il geometra ligure dedicated to the present event, rich in specialized texts: the Editorial by Arnoldo Juvara and the presentation by Piero Panunzi are followed by BI [EA] T E [ EART] H by A. Di Certo, The Earth from heaven by L. Olcese, History and development of cadastral mapping by P. De Lorenzi, The Hydrographic Institute of the Navy in Genova by P. Presciuttini; Nolli "famous geometer" and his new map of Rome by M. Bevilacqua, The formation of the surveyor is the future by F. Finocchiaro, Maps of urban land at large scale by G. Grossi.

Photographs by Andrea Belardi, Marco Carlevaro, Mauro Pizzimenti and Marco Villa, Genoa, 21-22 June 2007

Edited by
Paola Presciuttini (May 28, 2005, updated September 20, 2005)