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Mapping and Geocoding, Part 3: Vilmorin's Floriculture Data Set

Mapping and Geocoding, Part 3: Vilmorin's Floriculture Data Set

Outdoor Flower Markets: A Network of Commercial Sites near Public Squares

Primary source.

  • The French botanist and writer Philippe L. de Vilmorin authored Les fleurs à Paris: culture et commerce (The Flowers of Paris: Culture and Commerce) in 1892. Vilmorin provides a history of the Parisian floriculture industry that parses out the supply and distribution chains of fresh flora in the city.
  • Vilmorin describes the typical flows of fresh cut flowers and plants in soil, from Les Halles, a central clearinghouse, to a network of outdoor flower markets and on down a hierarchy of female merchants and street criers.
  • I use Vilmorin’s chart to plot the historical addresses of 12 markets.
  • Full text searchable PDFs of Vilmorin’s Les fleurs à Paris are available from the BnF's Gallica database and GoogleBooks.


  • I keyed the data from Vilmorin’s chart into an Excel spreadsheet. My university’s GIS specialist helped me import this data, in another file format, to ArcGIS.
  • Because many of the outdoor flower markets Vilmorin lists are located at or near public squares, it was relatively easy to find information about these sites using Les rues de Paris, Paris Data, Wikipédia, and other resources.
  • To find the coordinates of a specific place, you can consult GPS Coordinates on Google Maps on
  • An amazing print source is Jacques Hillairet’s Dictionnaire historique des rues de Paris (Historical Dictionary of the Streets of Paris).

The dynamic map (hosted in ArcGIS) allows me to explore micro-geographies in Paris’ horticultural network and visualize typical movement patterns of women and plants. (Note: This is a preliminary version of the mapping!)

Click on the green diamonds to view the associated metadata.


Part 4, Business Directory Data Set





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