• LOCATION 26 | A Stroll Through Carouge: Geneva's Little Italy

    The first federal topographic office

    The first federal topographic office on Geneva audio tour A Stroll Through Carouge: Geneva's Little Italy

    Stop here at the corner in front of the little restaurant, and look over to the house on the other side, number 22 of Saint-Victor Street.

    Guillaume Henri Dufour, the civil engineer of Geneva, of whom you may have heard many nice stories of in my tours of Geneva, before becoming general of the Swiss army, started as of 1820 to produce a precise map of Switzerland at the scale of 1:100’000. When this so-called “Dufour map” was published between 1845 and 64, the whole world applauded, saying it was the best topographic map ever made. He invented modern map making! To organize this, he founded, on the 1st of January 1838, the Swiss federal topographic office and installed it here in this house across the street. Can you see the plaque on top of the entrance door? Today, this office is near the Swiss capital Bern. When this so-called “Dufour map” was published between 1845 and 64, the whole world applauded, saying it was the best topographic map ever made. This is the place where modern map making has been invented!

    Now, let's move on to our final stop. Cross the street and stand in the middle of the place to the right of the tramway rails.

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A Stroll Through Carouge: Geneva's Little Italy