Skip to main content


The cartographic resources available are:

  • historical cartography of the Municipality of Milano
  • different versions of technical cartography of the Municipality of Milano
  • General Town Plan of the City of Milano from 1884 to 1998
  • technical and thematic cartography from Regione Lombardia
  • technical and thematic cartography of various Italian regions and municipalities
  • cartography of the Istituto Geografico Militare (IGM, Military Geographical Institute) in different historical periods

To search among the materials, use GeoData@Polimi, the geoportal for the geographical search of cartographic materials and the download of digital ones. GeoData@Polimi allows the user to zoom in on the area of interest (or key in the name of the location or address) and view, as in a core drill, the "stratigraphy" of the cartographic documents representing that portion of the region; subsequently, the user can select the materials to be downloaded. Most of the cartography of the Municipality of Milano and of Regione Lombardia can be searched and downloaded on Geodata@Polimi
Geodata@Polimi is based on the open source software OpenGeoPortal (OGP) developed by Tufts University in collaboration with Harvard and MIT. Numerous other US universities adhere to this project and its development. Politecnico di Milano is the first European and Italian partner.

For the materials not yet available on GeoData, look at search cartography

If you need help in searching caretographic materials contact the Reference service in Leonardo Campus Library. 

How to cite cartography

Maps are available in a variety of formats and materials: as individual paper sheet maps; as plates or illustrations in atlases, books or journals; as digital image maps in CD-ROMs or on web pages; or as generated by users through online mapping services or GIS software.

As with all scholarly work, use of maps should be cited. A map should be referenced in two places:

  • Complete bibliographic citation at the end of your work, providing the map's author and publisher.
  • Brief inline citation providing a descriptive title. This helps readers to locate the full citation in the bibliography or reference list.

Here below, you can find some examples taked from NC State University, adapted from the book:

Clark, Suzanne M., Mary Lynette Larsgaard, and Cynthia M. Teague. Cartographic Citations: A Style Guide, MAGERT Circular No. 1. Chicago: American Library Association, 1992.

Single sheet map
Format:  Author. Title [map]. Edition. Scale. Place of publication: Publisher, Date. 
 Example:  U.S. Department of the Air Force. U.S. Army Forces in WWII, 1941-1945. [map]. Scale not given. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Air Force, 1993.

Atlas Citation
Format:  Author. Title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Date.  
Example:  Orr, Douglas M. The North Carolina Atlas: Portrait for a New Century. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. 2000.

Map from an Atlas
Format:  Map Author. Map title [format]. Scale. In: Atlas Author. Atlas title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Date. page. 
Example:  Hillsborough [map]. Scale not given. In: Universal Map (Firm). Street Atlas of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill & Vicinity: North Carolina. Williamston, MI: Universal Map, 1995. page 26.

Map in a Topographic Series
Format:  Author. Sheet title, Number [format]. Edition. Scale. Series title. Place of publication: Publisher, Date. 
 Example:  U.S. Geological Survey. Raleigh West quadrangle, North Carolina [map]. Photorevised 1993. 1:24,000. 7.5 Minute Series. Reston, Va: United States Department of the Interior, USGS, 1999.

Map in a Series
Format:  Author. Sheet title, Number [format]. Edition. Scale. Series title. Place of publication: Publisher, Date. 
Example:  U.S. Geological Survey. The North America Tapestry of Time and Terrain [map]. Version 1. 1:8,000,000. Geologic Investigations Series; I-2781. Reston, Va: U.S. Department of the Interior, USGS, 2003.

Map from a Book
Format:  Map Author. Map title [format]. Scale. Place of publication: Publisher, Date (if known). In: Book Author. Book title. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date, page. 
Example:  Griffler, Keith P. Underground Railroad [map]. Scale not given. In: Front line of freedom: African Americans and the Forging of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley. Lexington, Ky: University Press of Kentucky, 2004, page 30

Map from the Web
Format:  Author if known. Map Title [map]. Date of map creation if known. Scale. "Title of the Complete Document or Site". Date posted if known. <URL> (date accessed). 
Example:  North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture. Agriculture Overview [map]. "North Carolina Department of Agriculutre and Consumer Services."  Last updated September 2003. <> (accessed December 20, 2004).

Map from a Journal
Format:  Map Author if known. Map Title [format]. Scale if known. In: Article Author. "Article Title," Journal Title volume (year): page. 
 Example:  Smithers, Jane.  Regional Cuisine of Spain [map].  Scale unknown.  In: Smithers, Jane. "Fabulous Flavors", Excellent Eating 11 (1999): 57.

Map generators
Format:  Author or statement of responsibility. Map Title [map]. Data date if known. Scale; Name of person who generated map; Name of software used to generate the map or "Title of the Complete Document or Site". <URL> (date generated). 
 Example:  United States Census Bureau.  Median Age: 2000, Wake County, NC by County Subdivision [map].2000. Scale undetermined; generated by George McAllister; using "American FactFinder". <> (22 December 2002).

CD-ROM or DVD Maps
Format:  Author. Title. [format]. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Date. 
 Example:  ESRI Ltd. ArcCanada [CD-ROM]. Version 2.0. North York, Ontario: Environmental Systems Research Institute, 1999.

Facsimile or Reproduction Maps
Format:  Author. Title. [format]. Scale. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date. As reproduced by: Publisher, Date. 
 Example:  Popple, Henry. 18th Century North America [facsimile]. 1 inch to 50 miles. London, England: 1733. As reproduced by: Harry Margary, 2004.

Real time maps
Format:  Author. Title [format]. Date produced and time if known. Scale. "Title of document or site". <URL> (date accessed). 
 Example:  North Carolina Department of Transportation. Current Wake County Traffic Conditions [map]. 03/10/04, 15:07:20. Scale not given. "North Carolina Department of Transportation". <> (10 March 2004).

Aerial Photos
Format:  Source. Title [format]. Scale. Line/roll number. Photo number. Place of publication. Date. 
 Example:  UCLA Department of Geography. Malibu [air photo]. 1:30.000. Photo #17a. L.A., Calif. 1947.

GIS-Produced Maps
Format:  Map Title. [format]. Scale. Database name [type of medium]. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Using GIS software: Title [type of software].
Example:  Virginia Railway Network. [computer map]. 1:25000. National Transportation Atlas Databases. Washington, D.C.: US Department of Transportation, 2000. Using ArcGIS [GIS software]. Version 8.3. Redlands, CA: Environmental Systems Research Institute, 1992-2004.

Cadastral maps

The section includes microfilm copies in black and white of historical cadastres from all the provincial Archivi di Stato of the Regione Lombardia. This means approx. 250,000 map sheets (based on nearly 10,000 toponyms) related to the cadastral surveys decreed by the various successive state administrations in the Regione Lombardia since the beginning of the eighteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century, namely:

Teresian Cadastre

The Teresian or "Charles VI" Cadastre was implemented between 1718 and 1760; it was ordered by Charles VI of Hapsburg in 1714 and was started in 1718. The first surveys were made in the period 1721-1723 and were interrupted in 1733; they resumed only in 1749, during the reign of Maria Theresa of Hapsburg, and ended with the activation of the cadastre in 1760. It was the first geometric parcel cadastre - so not simply descriptive - whose formation deeds have been preserved

Duchy of Milano
The territory of the Duchy of Milano, transferred in 1713 to Austria, was involved in census surveys between 1721 and 1724; the cadastral surveys were mainly for fiscal and tax purposes. The census, carried out in a capillary and precise manner, allowed the morphological of the entire region to be reconstructed.

For surveys the plane table is used. The First Station (Prima Stazione) assets identify the limits of land ownership (division into cadastral parcels) with indication of intended use, ownership and extent of the plots. The Second Station (Seconda Stazione) assets concern buildings. The units of measurement used are the Milanese trebuchet, corresponding to 2.61111 metres and the Milanese perch, equivalent to 654.517962 sqm.

Each cadastral parcel is marked with a sequential number that refers to overall summary (sommarione). The overall summary is a list on the side of the table indicating the quality of the crops, their extension, the names of the owners with their social class. The characteristics of the area are well defined; the representation technique (coloured with watercolours) is very accurate, certain signs used introduce an abstract cartographic symbolism and are used to describe the characteristics of the vegetation; reading the maps can provide land researchers with information on the state of the environment, the hydrography and the vegetation, before they were affected to major changes due to industrial development and urbanization.

Napoleonic Cadastre

The Napoleonic Cadastre was implemented between 1807 and 1816 and concerned the departments that had not been surveyed by the previous Teresian Cadastre.

For the survey phase, an implementation regulation is introduced with rules for measurements, sheet and section sizes, colourings and conventional symbols to be used. As the unit of measurement, the metric system is adopted.

The maps are characterised by an accurate description of the area and by updated survey techniques. Sections made up of parts of the area delimitated by recognisable boundaries (usually the main streets and consolidated natural boundaries) are identified. The area is divided into parcels, namely parts of land with recognizable and homogeneous boundaries in terms of property, intended use and quality. The overall summaries (sommarioni) are organized into six columns and contain the sequential numbers, the names of the owners and of the locations, the quality, class and surface area of the individual parcels. The maps of the Napoleonic Cadastre mark the beginning of a great process of territorial transformation.

Tax equality in the geographical sense: between the kingdoms of the empire, between the different regions and between the municipalities within the same cantontax.
Equality in the social sense: no taxpayer may be exempted from paying taxes.
Geodetic framework of the entire territory of the empire.
Innovation in the agricultural sector: the tax envisaged was net of production innovations, thus favouring investment in the agriculture sector.

The Napoleonic Cadastre after the Restoration
The Lombardo-Veneto territories, having once again been transferred under Austrian rule, were subject to new adjustments with regard to the cadastre. In 1838 the new valuation rates were published and estimation of buildings began; in 1852, the new cadastre was activated which gave rise to numerous protests and objections. In 1853, a technical commission was appointed, called Lombardo-Veneto Commission, which, as a result of estimates made on a sample of Lombard municipalities, confirmed the existence of a significant disparity in favour of the provinces in the Teresian Cadastre. It was decided, therefore, to carry out a new cadastral survey, that now known as the Lombardo-Veneto Cadastre.

Lombardo-Veneto Cadastre

The Lombardo-Veneto Cadastre was implemented starting from 1854 with the aim of remedying the disparity emerging from the Lombardo-Veneto Commission's investigations and establishing a uniform cadastre for the entire Lombardo-Veneto Kingdom. The new census was continued without substantial interruption also after the unification of the Kingdom of Italy. In 1877, all Lombardy and Veneto regions, both those newly censused as well as those still with the old census, were brought together into a single cadastre and, for the latter, continuation of the new census was ordered; work on the new census was suspended in 1887. For the surveys, the same technical tools as in the previous century were used. Unit of measurement: metre (introduced by Napoleon) and metric or census perch (1,000 square metres).

The maps of the Lombardo-Veneto Cadastre replace those of 1722 (Teresian Cadastre) and the Napoleonic maps; they are organized into modular sheets, summarily coloured with watercolours only to highlight buildings, waterways and the road network. Cultivated land, marked by the parcel number, are neither coloured nor have the graphic symbols that in the eighteenth century maps differentiated the crops. The maps and parcels are indicated by a sequential numbering system that refers to a separately compiled register.

Cessato Cadastre

Before the Unification of Italy, in 1861, there were as many as 22 different cadastres with very considerable differences, both in terms of census dates as well as quality of results and type of system adopted; some dated back as far as the sixteenth century, others, such as those of the Lombardo-Veneto and Tuscany, on the other hand, dated back to the years immediately preceding the Unification. Some were geometric while others more descriptive, some were by masses of property or crops while others were of the parcel type, etc. The New Cadastre (now called Cessato Cadastre) was established with Law No. 3682 of 1 March 1886, the first and fundamental law of the Italian cadastre.

The maps are organised in modular sheets; cultivated land, marked by the parcel number, has no colouration or graphic symbols. The maps and parcels are indicated by a sequential numbering system that refers to a separately compiled register. The maps available at TeDOC cover the period 1886-1904.

It surveys the entire country homogeneously. It is a very rigorous geometric-parcel cadastre based on estimates and measurements by means of a system of classes and tariffs. The topographical survey of the territorial unit, the parcel, distinguishes: ownership and/or possession; crop quality and class; intended use and income capacity.

Access to cartographic resources is permitted only to active institutional users of the University. External users, with a payment card, and Alumni can only access the graduation theses.

Search - To search via the historical toponym, current toponym or ISTAT code uses search maps.
Consultation - Consultation of maps on microfilm or in digital format is only possible at the Leonardo Campus Library.
Reproduction - Reproduction of the maps is regulated by specific agreements with each provincial Archivio di Stato. It is possible to request the reproduction of up to 10 map sheets per day. Reproductions of maps in digital format are provided the same day, those on microfilm in about a week. Reproductions may be provided in pdf digital or A3 hard copy format depending on the agreements reached with each provincial Archivio di Stato owning the originals.

Cadastres available and search suggestions

Milano city and Holy Bodies (Corpi Santi)
The cadastres available for the Municipality of Milano are: Teresian, Lombardo-Veneto and Cessato.Thanks to the agreements reached with the Archivio di Stato of Milano, reproduction of cadastral maps takes place on digital media, in pdf format. The digital medium for saving the file must be provided by the user. To search maps relating to the territory of the current Municipality of Milano, remember that at the time of the various cadastres, the territory was divided into: City of Milano, bounded by the circle of the Spanish walls; Holy Bodies (Corpi Santi), territory near the walls of the city of Milano occupied by farms and villages which was recognized as a single administrative entity called, precisely, the Municipality of the Holy Bodies (Comune dei Corpi Santi); moreover, after 1873, the year when the Holy Bodies were annexed to the Municipality of Milano, a number of other adjacent municipalities (for example Affori and Lambrate) were gradually included in the municipal boundaries up to the existing delimitation.
For searches involving areas inside the boundaries of the Holy Bodies, it is recommended to enter "Corpi Santi" in the historical toponym field and "Milano" in the current toponym field; also try entering "Milano" in both the historical toponym as well as the current toponym field to be sure to include all the possible occurrences.In searches involving the areas of Milano outside the boundaries of the Holy Bodies, it is recommended to identify the historical toponym of the area of interest (e.g. Baggio) and make the search using it as the criterion.

Milano, Lodi, Monza and Brianza
The cadastral maps owned by the Archivio di Stato of Milano concern the areas of the current provinces of Milano, Lodi and Monza-Brianza. The cadastres present are: Teresian, Lombardo-Veneto and Cessato.

The cadastres available for the province of Bergamo are: Teresian; Napoleonic (for toponyms that do not have the Teresian cadastre); Lombardo-Veneto; Cessato; undated maps are present.

The cadastres available for the province of Brescia are: Napoleonic, Lombardo-Veneto and Cessato. The municipalities of Magasa (ISTAT code 17098) and Valvestino (ISTAT code 17194), currently in the province of Brescia, have no maps because at the time of the cadastral surveys they still belonged to the Principality of Tyrol.

Como, Lecco
The cadastres available for the provinces of Como and Lecco are: Teresian, Lombardo-Veneto and Cessato.The holding codes of the maps bear the suffix 00_ since in the same holding code several cadastral surveys, or different versions of the same survey, are stored. The cadastral maps of the following municipalities - currently in the province of Lecco, but previously under the administration of the province of Bergamo - are the property of the Archivio di Stato di Bergamo. Please take this into account for the purpose of proper citation of the materials consulted.Calolziocorte (ISTAT code 97013); Carenno (ISTAT code 97014); Erve (ISTAT code 97034); Monte Marenzo (ISTAT code 97052); Torre de' Busi (ISTAT code 97080); Vercurago (ISTAT code 97086).

The cadastres available for the province of Cremona are: Teresian (not present for all toponyms); Lombardo-Veneto and Cessato. The holding codes of the maps bear the suffix 00_ since in the same holding code, referring to a toponym, all the cadastral surveys for that toponym are stored.

The cadastres available for the province of Mantova are: Teresian; Napoleonic (for toponyms that do not have the Teresian cadastre); Lombardo-Veneto and Cessato. The holding codes of the maps bear the suffix 00_ since in the same holding code several cadastral surveys, or different versions of the same survey, are stored. It is pointed out that municipalities of San Giacomo delle Segnate (ISTAT code 20056) and San Giovanni del Dosso (ISTAT code 20058) at the time of the cadastral surveys were part of the municipality of Quistello. By entering the names of the two municipalities in the "Current Toponym" search field, you will be automatically directed to the maps of Quistello.

Indicatively, for the area of the province of Pavia, the Cessato cadastre is present. The holding codes of the maps bear the suffix 00_ since the dating is for the moment still inaccurate and deficient.

Indicatively, for the area of the province of Sondrio, the Lombardo-Veneto and Cessato cadastres are present. The holding codes of the maps bear the suffix 00_ since the dating is for the moment still inaccurate and deficient. Inside the same holding code there can be multiple cadastral surveys or adjustments.

Indicatively, for the area of the province of Varese, only the Cessato cadastre is present. It is pointed out that the municipalities listed below do not have maps: Besnate (ISTAT code 12012); Casorate Sempione (ISTAT code 12039); Gorla Maggiore (ISTAT code 12078).