Plongez dans l'univers de la famille Cassini

Immerse yourself in the world of the Cassini family

Maps are more than just navigation tools. They are the guardians of history, the revealers of geographical wonders and the precious guides who accompany us on our adventures. And behind each map there is a fascinating story, notably that of the Cassini family. Buckle up, because we're going back in time and discovering the secrets of these extraordinary cartographers!

The origins of the Cassini map

It all began in the 17th century, when Jean-Dominique Cassini, a famous French astronomer, embarked on a daring project: creating the first large-scale map of France. At that time, cartography was still an emerging field, but Cassini would stop at nothing to push the boundaries of knowledge.
Armed with his knowledge of astronomy, Cassini develops innovative techniques to precisely measure the latitude and longitude of different points on French territory. This is how he managed to create a revolutionary map, the famous map of France. But don't expect a simple geographic representation, because this map is much more than that.
The Cassini map is the result of colossal triangulation work that spans several generations of the Cassini family. It was carried out on an exceptional scale for the time and covered the entire French territory. Imagine for a moment the challenge this represented at a time when modern technologies did not yet exist!

The Cassini map, reflection of our History

Using this map, the Cassinis managed to capture the minute details of the French landscape, from picturesque villages to majestic castles. This map is also a testimony to history in progress. It records the evolution of roads, borders and architectural structures over the years. It’s like a window into the past, offering valuable insight into bygone eras.

Detail of Cassini's map of Troyes (No. 81)

Detail of Cassini's map of Troyes (No. 81)

The monumental work of the Cassini family does not stop there. Over the generations, the descendants of Jean-Dominique Cassini continue to make improvements and additions to the map of France. Their passion for cartography and their dedication to this herculean task resulted in the creation of a one-of-a-kind cartographic treasure.

Cassini's map today

But what happened to the Cassini family cards? Don't worry, they haven't disappeared into the limbo of history. Today, you can explore these precious artifacts through the digitization of the Cassini Collection. Many sites and online platforms allow you to delve into these exceptional maps and travel back in time, from the comfort of your home. I recommend the BNF website here.
And what about the heritage of the Cassini family? Their influence in the field of cartography is undeniable and had a very significant impact on the production of the first General Staff maps. The innovative techniques they developed paved the way for new advances in map science. Today, the National Geographic Institute (IGN) perpetuates this tradition of excellence and precision established by Cassini. IGN maps have become essential references for all cartography enthusiasts, whether passionate hikers or researchers in search of knowledge.


In conclusion, maps are not only practical tools, but also witnesses of history and guides that take us on unforgettable adventures. The Cassini family has left an indelible mark on the world of cartography, and we are fortunate to be able to discover and appreciate their exceptional work. So the next time you unfold a map, remember the incredible story behind it, and let the magic of cartography guide you. Have a good trip !
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