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Tomas Lopez's Geographic Atlas of Spain in the Peninsular War: A methodology for determining errors
San Antonio Gomez, Jose Carlos de and Velilla Lucini, Cristina and Manzano Agugliaro, Francisco
Tomas Lopez's Geographic Atlas of Spain in the Peninsular War: A methodology for determining errors.
"Survey Review", v. 43
During the Peninsular War, Napoleon's and Wellington's armies were aware of the lack of precision in the maps of Spain and its provinces that appeared in Tomas Lopez \s Geographical Atlas of Spain. The errors were due to the non-topographical surveying method he used which he had learned from his teacher Jean Baptiste Bourguignon D 'Anville. To map all of the Spanish provinces, Tomas Lopez divided them into circles of three leagues in diameter (16,718 m), taking a particular town as the centre. He asked the town's priest to draw a map of the territory and to complete a questionnaire that Tomas Lopez sent to him. The priest was to return the two documents after he had completed them. Subsequently, at his desk, Tomas Lopez used the maps and reports as well as other graphic and written sources from various locations to make an outline of each map. Next, he made a mosaic that served as a pattern for drawing the final provincial map. We will see the way that this method was applied in two concrete cases: the villages ofChavaler and Monteagudo, situated in the Spanish province of Soria, and verify their degree of accuracy. We will use the maps drawn by the priests in 1767, the final map of the province which was published in 1804 by Tomás López, and a current map of the province showing the angular and linear errors in Lopez \s map.
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