Maps and plans

The Bpi map collection enables visitors to look up the topography of a place, go back in time with Cassini maps to see the old streets of Paris, or prepare for a hiking trip…
The maps of France and the world are updated as soon as a new version is available.

Maps of France and the whole world

With more than 7,000 documents, the Bibliothèque publique d’information provides a great variety of plans and maps of France and countries of the world. 
Much of the IGN collection is available as well as those of the BRGM and CNRS. These maps allow the French regions to be grasped to varying degrees of precision, and maps of cities to be looked at to find out about getting around places.

Livres Cartes et atlas
Livres Cartes et atlas

Map classification

The maps of France can be different types :

  • the topographical maps edited by the IGN (Institut Géographique National) have a variety of scales: the Série Bleue maps (1/25 000) for hikers, but also departmental (1/150 000) and regional (1/250 000) maps that map out the main routes for car drivers and cyclists. The 76 tourism maps (1/100 000) also provide a multitude of information: natural and historic information, contour lines, viewing points…
  • themed maps published by the IGN explore a precise theme: the wine and châteaux routes, Vauban…
  • geological maps published by the BRGM (Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières – French government geological survey) enable professionals to observe natural resources. A geological map of Paris at 1/50 000 is available in this collection.
  • maps of vegetation in France form a first ecological survey study. Published by the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique – French National Centre for Scientific Research) in the 1990s, these maps aim to precisely represent the various series of vegetation particular to France using a colour code.

In addition, the Bpi has a significant choice of maps of foreign countries, mainly topographical, with different scales and publishers. City maps are also available.

Carte au niveau 3 de la BPi
Carte au niveau 3 de la BPi

Old maps

The library also has a significant collection of old maps :

  • The Cassini Map is the first scientific map of France drawn up using triangulation. King Louis XV and his project manager, César-François Cassini wanted it to be produces, and it’s also the first major national place name survey. The Map is made up of a set of 180 engraved sheets in black and white, corresponding to plans of the provinces made between 1750 and 1815. The map of Paris dates from 1789
  • The King’s hunt map (or topographical map of the surroundings of Versailles or the Imperial hunts) is engraved in black and white and represents part of the territories of Ile-de-France. It was topographically studied from 1764 to 1807. 
Carte de Cassini, Bpi
Cartes anciennes Carte de Cassini, Photo : Delphine Nicolas, Bpi [CC-BY-NC-2.0]

Many atlases complete the collection, among which the republication of the Atlas Maior, updated general atlases, themed atlases, road atlases and atlases with maps, plans and satellite images of cities of the world.

In order to them easier to look at, the atlases are grouped together on an inclined display desk near the history-geography information desk.

The collection of maps and plans can be consulted on level 2 of the Bpi, by asking at the history-geography information desk.
As is the case for all documents offered by the Bpi, it is not possible to borrow these maps and plans. However colour or black and white photocopies of them can be made, including in A3 format, or photos taken.