May 11th 2016 meeting

May 11th Toflit meeting
Attending : Requia Bouali, Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Federic d’Onofrio, Meng Ying Du, Hasna El-Adel, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Corentin Ponton, Grégory Tible, Elisa Tirindelli, Quentin Vidal

1. Presentations

2. Retranscriptions
– For Marseille, Requia is doing year 1749 and Hasna 1751.
– Laura is working on 1789.
– By the end of May, we should have most of Marseille + Nantes.
– Demba will finish afterward. We plan to stop in July.
– Corentin Ponton adding some unit values from 1815 to 1821. But they are not bilateral : it seems like there is a double aggregation of values and quantities because computing of average prices exhibits wrong results.
– Quentin Vidal is transcribing post-1815 sources by the customs, that indicate quantities and duties.

3. Verifications
•    Loic Charles is checking the retranscription of Grenoble and England sources (4 to 5 thousands lines a day). He expects to end this job by September.
After summer holidays, we should stop retranscripting of new sources so as to focus on the database exploitation.

4. Identification
– Identification of commodities is nearly done (thanks to Quentin and Corentin); some doubts remain concerning strange words, though most of them might come from foreign languages (Dutch or Flemish mainly). Note that those unknown goods are worth only small amounts.
– We could use Beccia’s information to enhance the identification
– We could identify some Indian textiles because they all end the same way.
– There are copyist mistakes that are very difficult to correct.

5. Identification
Pierre Gervais and Guillaume are working on the SITC variant we will be offering as one of the classifications. We discuss the difficulties.
•    SITC: consists of a dozen of categories, divided into more sub-categories.
o    Motivation: building bridges between different projects and between different centuries.
o    Drawbacks: frontier between categories might be too blurred, and some goods create ambiguities, about the transformation degree for example. There are way too much commodities in the category “9C: other products”.
o    Should we create a new version of the SITC classification, maybe more fitted to our project but less standardized and thus less internationally recognized?
•    Examples of problems encountered during the classification: What to do with some chemical products, such as medicines that are not always transformed products? With textile goods, made of cotton, silk or something else we do not know?
•    Ideally, we aim for a classification perfectly understandable for someone who does not know anything about the project, or at least anything but the rules of the classification.

6. Quantities in the datascape
We discuss how to integrate quantities in the database. Guillaume suggests we could create one variable / facet for each type of quantities (weight, volume, number and maybe length). In that way, they could be treated like values in the datascape.

7. Work on the datascape
We have a quick discussion on progress of the datascape, and how to treat 1749 and 1751 for National Best Guess

8. Ricardo
We admire the new version of the Metadata view.

9. Next meetings

•    June 8th 2016 (Toflit meeting), at 9h30, Medialab.
•    June 22nd  2016 (Ricardo meeting) with Giovani Federico and Antonio Tena
•    July 5th: last meeting before summer holidays.
•    September 16th : public meeting with people from the English project, Norway, Ireland and the STRO. There will be an internal meeting on Saturday 17th.
•    October 14th in Chicago (financed up to $4500 from Chicago side). It would be nice if Pierre, Paul and Siliva could come.

Hasna El Adel

Bienvenue à Hasna ! Elle nous a rejoint pour former une équipe avec Requia.

Hasna est  actuellement en première année de master Économie des organisations, option Management de Projets Publics et Privés à l’université Paris 8 à Saint-Denis. Elle a préalablement obtenu un diplôme de licence Economie-Gestion dans cette même université en 2015.

Elle a intégré le projet TOFLIT18 le 4 avril 2016 dans le cadre d’un stage de 3 mois, où elle est rattachée à l’Institution National d’Études Démographiques. Elle a  pour mission de faire la retranscription des documents d’importations des villes de Marseille (entre 1726 et 1759) et de Nantes (entre 1731 et 1761).

« Dans le cadre de mon stage, je vais analyser la question du financement d’un projet de recherche (notamment celui de TOFLIT18) et des procédures mises en place pour le dépenser de manière efficace par rapport aux objectifs scientifiques de ce(s) projet(s). Je participe de manière plus générale aux activités administratives du projet, telles que les réunions mensuelles.

Ce stage est une manière pour moi de découvrir le secteur public, qui m’était jusque-là inconnu car n’ayant eu que des expériences dans le secteur privé. De plus, c’est une initiation au monde de la recherche que je ne connaissais pas. »


Requia Bouali

Bienvenue à Réquia dans l’équipe !

Réquia Bouali a intégré le projet ANR TOFLIT18 dans le cadre d’un stage d’une durée de 3 mois. Elle effectue principalement la tâche de retranscription des documents de la balance commerciale de la Direction de Marseille pour les années 1726 à 1780.

« J’ai toujours été fascinée par le travail des chercheurs, notamment en science sociale. C’est d’ailleurs la raison pour laquelle je me suis intéressée à la recherche. Ayant effectué une licence de sociologie à l’université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, je me suis ensuite spécialisée en anthropologie. Je fais également, en parallèle, un second master. Il s’agit du Master Économie et Management des Projets Publics et Privés.

Je vois à travers ce stage le moyen de me familiariser, d’une part, avec le monde du travail dans une institution publique et, d’autre part, celui de répondre à certains de mes questionnements relatifs à la vie de chercheur. Cela me permettra de mieux définir mon projet futur qui est de poursuivre à terme un travail de thèse.

Participer à la réalisation du projet TOFLIT18, me donne envie de donner le meilleur de moi-même et me procure un sentiment de fierté. En effet, l’ampleur du projet, mêlant à la fois l’histoire, la géographie et l’économie en France dans le XVIIIe siècle, me permet de découvrir des facettes multiples du travail de chercheur. »




Quentin Vidal

Welcome to Quentin Vidal! He is a student at TSE who will work with the project from April 18th to July 13th. He is currently working on identifying unkown goods in the database (we have nearly 1,200 definitions in our glossary).

« After four years of university education in the Toulouse School of Economics focused on macroeconomics, history and development economics, I now have to seriously consider my professional plans. Thus, this internship should constitute my first approach of the world of the academic research, a field that intrigues me as much as it interests me. Those three-months of observation and work among a research team offer me the opportunity to discover a multi-disciplinary project, involving historians, economists and data scientists all connected by means of some useful, powerful and productive online tools. The thoughtful building of such a large and essential dataset and its subsequent analysis are very challenging aims; both of them require a great curiosity for this historical period, which perfectly matches with my interests. I hope I will be able to add my contribution and am really looking forward to assisting this project. »


Quentin Vidal CV

April 13th meeting

Réunion Toflit 13/04/16

Requia Bouali, Marie-Laure Dagieu, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Hasna El-Adel, Paul Girard, Laura Mouton, Grégory Tible, Elisa Tirindelli, Du Meng Ying,

1) Interns
The project is presented to out two new interns : Hasna El-Adel and Requia Bouali. They are working on the retranscription of Marseille and Nantes. We discuss how to use the datascape to facilitate the retranscription

3) Budget
INED has 35,000 € left. We expect to spend approximately 20,000 € this year. At the end of 2016, 80% of the initial budget will have been spent, mainly on wages and contractors.

Sciences Po has 25,000 € left at the end of 2015. 60% of the initial budget has been spent, mainly on wages. After Guillaume Plique and Gregory have been paid, we will have approximately 10,000 € left. We discuss whether we want to transfer this money for other workers in 2017.

Dauphine has 70,000 € left. Only 15% of the initial budget has been spent. This is because Dauphine will mainly take in charge missions and conferences, which will be more important at the end of the project when we will be able to present the data and our research results. We are late in the collection and organization of the data.

4) Datascape
Pierre Gervais is currently working on the SITC classification.

We discuss the chronological repartition of good names. Only roughly 10% of products are mentioned every year, suggesting that semantic variations are very important.

Paul Girard is working on making updates to the datascape easier so that they can be done regularly.
Gregory is working on improving the interface and squashing bugs. For exemple, the server breaks down under searches crossing countries and goods in the indicator visualization.

There is still a bug when trying to search by crossing simplification pays and direction.

5) Ricardo
The source names have been nearly fully streamlined.

Du Meng Ying is working on a new « metadata» visualization. It  shows which data are available from which place: they can be sorted by number of flows in the whole period or by average value of flows.
We discuss the use of absolute value of trade or share for sorting purposes. It would be better to calculate average value as average of the share of what is available, to avoid countries with trade only in 20th century to stand out just in value terms.

Each main viz will have a metadata equivalent. This is done for the Country and the World view, but not yet for the Bilateral view.

6) Meetings
Next meeting is May 11th at 4pm at the médialab 13 rue de l’Université. We discuss our schedule for the end of June without reaching a definite solution.

March 16th meeting

Thank you to Elisa who wrote the first version of this report.


Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Guillaume Plique, Grégory Tible, Elisa Maria Tirindelli, Du Meng Ying

1) Database
We have now a new version of normalisation orthographique. We discuss the integration of the work of GD, GP, PG, and ET.
We also have a new version of «simplification».
GD will be working on a new SITC before Cambridge.

We know have a more-or-less working datascape at :
If you want to explore it, please ask Guillaume Daudin for access codes.

2) Ricardo
The paper was accepted and Ricardo will be presented in July. Du Meng Ying is doing her internship on Ricardo at present.
Major work to be done on Ricardo:
– Correcting bugs and adding new views (like the metadata in toflit).
– Creating a flow of data, converging to what was done in toilet. Transferring everything in a github account.

The breakdown into sources is still to be done.

We discuss the integration of an additional « world» trade estimate.

3) Merchandise treatment

– Normalisation orthographique is nearly done. It classifies 44,000 items into 21,000 groups. The only data missing are the data that have not been acquired yet. According to Loic there are 25% more lines to be done, even more according to Pierre.

– Simplification brought normalisation down to 16,500 lines. It still needs to be revised in detail because it still contains some old version of the work. Pierre suggests to organise a group meeting to talk about it and to work on it in a more organized way.

– Original orthographique needs to be cleaned. some products are still unknown and it is necessary to understand what they are. Pierre says they are not many.

– Catégorisation issue:

Pierre G. is of the opinion that the 1789 categorization (c. 250 categories) is not very coherent and might not work well on the entire dataset.

Guillaume D. suggested to use categorization 1788 because it contains all the data and in addition it links XVIII to XIX century data.

Pierre is skeptical, in his opinion we are looking for categories that will be useful to economists and economic analysis and maybe the best idea would be to come up with a new proposal of classification in the style of 2 digit sitc.

In the end, we decide to work directly on a 20 groups categorization (sitc18_rev3). GD is to do the job (he needs it for Cambridge !)

4) The June meeting in  Chicago project is cancelled. We will try to do an other in December or late winter. We will try to re-use part of our ideas for the 2018 Boston WEHC conference ?

5) Schedule for next meetings :
–  13 April 13  14.30, room 84 rue de Grenelle
– 11 May 16.00, medialab
– 8 June 9.30, medialab
– 1 July 9.30, medialab

6) Paul suggests to do a “for paper sprint” in July (1st ?) or September to provide data generation and exploration specifically need to paper in progress. We need to discuss that.

7) 2018 Boston WEHC conference : do a BYOD (we need to contact organizers). Or maybe a big database thing with Berlin ?

Gregory Tible

Bienvenue à Grégory Tible, qui nous a rejoint début février pour une période d’alternance jusqu’à fin juillet.

Grégory Tible est étudiant depuis deux années à l’école 42 pour une formation d’architecte de l’information numérique. Il était auparavant chargé de veille et d’étude en agence web après avoir fait des études d’histoire.

Il a intégré le projet ANR TOFLIT 18 dans le cadre d’une alternance auprès du medialab de Sciences Po Paris. Il effectuera diverses missions telles que la création de visualisations de données, le développement de l’interface du site et la mise à jour de la base de données.

« Ma participation à ce projet est pour moi l’occasion de découvrir le travail de recherche associant économistes, historiens et informaticiens. Je peux apprécier au plus près les efforts apportés par l’équipe pour aboutir à un outil permettant d’embrasser la complexité des données recueillies. Personnellement, ce projet est un beau challenge de traitement et de visualisation de données.»

February 19th 2016 meeting

Meeting Toflit18 – 19/02/2016

Attending :
Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Pierre Gervais, Guillaume Plique, Grégory Tibre, Elisa Tirindelli

!!!!! Change of schedule !!!!!! Next meeting will be on Wednesday March 16th, at 14.30 at the médialab.

1. New data
Lyon has given a dilatory answer. Dunkerque would require one week of work. So we will not pursue these opportunities,  focus on what we have already and work on it.
There should be 10 «easy» years to collect each in Narbonne, Annecy and the bibliothèque de l’institut (Paris). One would need te be sponsored for last one. Loïc will give quote for these : we might send interns there.
No news concerning Bayonne.

2. Verification
1789 imports are done.
Marseille sill needs to be done + 2 two years for Nantes + the Eden treaty data.

3. Retranscription
1789 imports are done
Laura is working on 1789 exports.
Marseilles is finished (Thasectra + 2 interns).
Cyril or Dauphine interns must still do Bordeaux, and the remaining years for Nantes and Rennes.

4. Interns
– Elisa Tirindelli (PSE M2 student) will work till May 31st/early June. She will work on trade with the North for her master thesis + on simplification.
– Corentin Ponton (Dauphine M1 student) who will work on the project from May 2 to July 29. He will contribute on unknown products. His aim is to build a gravity model.
– Quentin Vidal (TSE M1 student) will work from April 18 to July 13.
– Victoria Sessego (Cachan 1st year student) might start working in September one day a week).
– Requia Bouali (Paris-8 AES + M1 Sociology + M2 Anthropology) will work from April 4 till July 1 every day except for Tuesdays on retranscriptions (till May 15th) + a thesis on the organisation of INED
– Hasna El Adel is a Paris-8 M2 student (with a licence in Economics). She will work on retranscription (till May 15th) + a thesis on the TOFLIT project as an exemple of good practices.

5. Database
There are currently three versions of the database:
– the «old» Neo4J
– the «up to date» bdd_centrale.csv
– the work based on Pierre’s orthographic normalization

As an estimate, we will have an additional 150,000 observations to add to the existing 380,000.

6. Treatment of merchandises
We then have a lively discussion on how best to proceed for the treatment of goods.

Pierre suggests putting everything back to singular in orthographic normalization. We also discuss an automatic treatment of singulars and plurals automatic. automatise the calculus on the database to calculate singular and plural. This is put off till latter. More details follow :

– tout remettre au singulier: pour la lecture c’est peu attrayant, mais ça serait une solution si nous continuons à essayer de rentrer les marchandises dans la normalisation orthographique « au fil de l’eau ». Solution rejetée dans la discussion parce que a) reconvertir est trop lourd (Loïc) b) de tout façon faire « au fil de l’eau » est trop compliqué (moi)

– d’où la solution choisie: un petit algorithme à appliquer une fois la normalisation terminée, qui vérifie que ce qui est au singulier doit bien être au singulier, et ce qui est au pluriel doit bien être au pluriel. Sous le contrôle de Guillaume, voici ce que ça donnerait:

pour le mot x

if forme normalisée orthographique = forme singulier du dictionnaire
trouver forme plurielle dans dictionnaire
calculer N occurrences singulier et N occurrences pluriel standard dans base normalisée
calculer % N pluriel / (N pluriel + N singulier)
comparer résultat à choix; changer si le résultat ne correspond pas à la règle choisie (que je rappelle: pluriel seulement quand 75% de pluriel)

if forme normalisée orthographique = forme plurielle du dictionnaire
trouver forme singulier dans dictionnaire
calculer N occurrences singulier et N occurrences pluriel standard dans base normalisée
calculer % N pluriel / (N pluriel + N singulier)
comparer résultat à choix; changer si le résultat ne correspond pas à la règle choisie (idem, 75% pluriel => pluriel)

if forme normalisée orthographique ne correspond à aucune forme, arrêt et avertissement

La seule question est celle de la constitution d’un dictionnaire, mais ça ne me semble pas insoluble. Et effectivement c’est à faire un fois les nouvelles lignes rentrées.

Considering the delays (we need a functioning treatment of goods for the end of March), we discuss wether we should bypass «simplification» and link directly orthographic normalization with the 1789 classification (200/280 items). That latter task seems very ambitious. We decide to go through simplification (even though the resulting file (between 12,000 and 16,000 lines)  still seems very long for the end user) and link with the sitc classification.

We discuss two additional points regarding simplification.
– Shall we keep the «qualities» ? We answer yes as we want not to loose any information at that stage. «harengs séchés» is not the same as « harengs».
– Shall we keep «categories» ? We answer no when they do not add any information. «poissons harengs» is the same as « harengs»  There are two issues with simplification; every product is associated to qualities and to categories,
•    is product plus quality the same as just product?
•    should we keep categories of should we leave them and keep them only in classification?
We should try to think who the users of the data will be and work on data accordingly

7. Gregory’s work
As the meeting is reaching an end, Gregory is simple sent a number of pdfs to illustrate the kind of visualization we need.

8. Datascape
The pre-prod version will be available soon. Please ask Guillaume for access.
Performance issues have been dealt with.
What should we add to the website to be a good tool for research?
In the simplification connection graph: get rid of the products with too few linkages (less than 4) to have those with more linkages clearer and more readable.
Another option is to filter by classification ?
Medicaments: change color of node to reflect hierarchisation ?

9. Chicago : no news. Things should coalesce when Loïc will be there, in March.

Corentin Ponton

We welcome a new membor for the project : Corentin Ponton.  Corentin is a M1 student from Dauphine (Master Affaires Internationales et Développement). He will work with us from May 2nd to July 29th. His project is to use the local data to test the effect of gravity variables on 18th century French trade.

« Ce stage représente pour moi une première approche du monde de la recherche et me permettra d’affiner mon projet professionnel. Actuellement en Master 1 Affaires Internationales et Développement, je souhaite en effet poursuivre mon cursus vers un Master 2 Recherche. Travailler au sein de l’équipe TOFLIT est ainsi pour moi l’opportunité de mêler des problématiques de commerce international mais aussi d’histoire économique, dimensions majeures de mon bagage universitaire. C’est également l’occasion de prendre part à une dynamique de groupe et de découvrir le monde de la recherche universitaire. Les missions qui me sont confiées me motivent grandement et je suis ravi de faire partie de cette aventure pour quelques mois ! »
CV Corentin PONTON

29th January 2016 meeting

Meeting Toflit18 – 29/01/2016

Attending :
Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Federico D’Onofrio, Paul Girard, Jérôme Hericourt, Emmanuelle Lavallée, Ivan Ledezma, Guillaume Plique, Samuel Sanchez, Grégory Tible, Elisa Tirindelli

1 – Discussion around RICardo

2 – Back to Manylines

3 – New data exploration tools for Toflit (with,380 000 trade flows and 44,000 different goods and a number of different partners)
There are for the time being 4 ways to get into the data in the tool.
* Classification
This is where one can treat the multiplicity of names in the data. For each case (goods and parters for the time being), there are at least three steps : orthographic normalisation // simplification (with no loss of information) // categorization (with some information loss)
How to update a classification ?
– Choose one (e.g. simplification)
– Export it in csv
– Open with LibreOffice (UTF-8)
– Modify the three-column file (last 2 columns)
– Import the csv
– This generates an «import report» about the links with the further classifications (e.g. changing «simplification» will have an effect on «categorization»

– Shall we do a versioning ?
– How to treat the «import report» ?

* Metadata
This is where one can see the available flows in the data
One can select the type of breakdown (in addition to year) : (direction, source, goods/partner classificatons, goods/partner simplication, grouping (product ou country)).
This yields 2 graphs :
Number of different groups per year
Number of flows per year

* Indicators
This is where one can see graphs with time series
On can make a selection according to :
– Source Type
– Product
– Country
– Direction
– Kind (import, export, total)

Two curves are created :
– Number of flows by year
– Sum of value by year

There can be up to 6 choices.
For the time being, it is a bit slow, but results are put in a cache to be reused easily

* Globals
This is were on can visualize graphs. The only one available is between directions and partners. The algorithms clusterizes geographical areas.
Latter in the meeting, we realize that it would be useful to be able to link goods and directions and not only partners and directions.
It would be nice also if a term network could be included.

4 – Paper presentations
4.1 Elisa on the analysis of bilateral trade flows between France and Hamburg between 1750-1789

Elisa Presentation_29 01 2016
French dataset (in 2014) : 3407 flows aggregate flows (Hamburg is often included in the North)
German dataset 1609 export flows between 1733-1798
Issues with both datasets : various units of measurement (even for the values) // linking products (changing named) // difficulty with prices and conversion rates
Solutions : work on common years / only on exports
The work that has been done : corrélation of the data in both sources. The correlation is rather strong (0.93 for the evolution of total flows, 0.98 for the breakdown by big sectors, 0.81 for the breakdown by products.

New exploration tools : linear regression and testing the Benford’s law
New questions on exogenous shocks : Seven year war, American revolution war, Interruption of commerce between France and Hamburg (1761-1769), trade liberalisation 1780.
To sum up : how reliable is the data ? What is the effect of wars ? What is the effect of treaties ?

There is a discussion on the share of Hamburg in the North and the importance of discrepancies in Hamburg.

4.2 Federico on Grain trade 1725-1821

Federico Presentation_29 01 2016
Only 6000 trade flows, broken down in 5 categories : Froment / other grains / third class grains / panifiable / transformed goods.
Directions : 6 directions with between 200 and 300 flows in each (only maritime)
Origins : Italie and the Baltic
Exports : colonies, Espagne, Italie, Nord…

Time series :  : the food crisis are very apparent (70-71/89/1817)

Extending the national series: repeated sale method
Distribution of grain trade :  Marseilles is the main export port by a large margin.

Links between the grain trade and population growth ? Role of riots ? The strongest correlation is between riots and t-1 exports. Is that because exports are in the summer and riots in the next spring ? Or because past exports stoke the fear for new permits ?

Projects : look at the geography of trade through GIS ? look at networks ? look at DEMETO models : demography and climate ? Thinking of co-occurences leads us to suggest that in the global view one should be able to link goods and directions and not only partners and directions.

4.3 Ivan and Emmanuelle on international production network in the 18th century Evidence from the French data (abstract)

The breakdown of the value added chain is not a 20th century innovation. They look at the sugar network. French per capita consumption is only 1/10th of English one.
The study of this international value-added chain is interesting. Especially the movement of the location of sugar transformation (which is a high VA activity).
One way to look at it is too look at the words associated with sugar.

The next meeting is at 9.30 of February 19th at the médialab.

Torsten dos Santos Arnold

We are happy to welcome a new member in the project !

Torsten dos Santos Arnold has graduated in Maritime History from the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa (FLUL) and the Portuguese Naval College in 2014. Since February 2015 he is a doctoral researcher in the DFG Project « The Globalized Periphery: Atlantic Commerce, Socioeconomic and Cultural Change in Central Europe (1680-1850) » of the Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany.

The research and analysis of French Trade Statistics is part of his PhD thesis titled “Central European Trade via French and Portuguese Seaports – Trans-National Networks and Merchandise (1714-1831)”.


“The analysis of French and Portuguese trade statistics is part of my PhD project on the importance of commodity flows linking the Early Modern Atlantic World with Central Europe. I also focus on the development of foreign merchant communities and networks namely the Central-European merchants in Nantes, La Rochelle and Lisbon along with the French Huguenots and Portuguese Sephardim in Hamburg. The aim of my research is to obtain qualitative and quantitative data for the observation and definition of political and socio-economic patterns of trans-national trade of the 18th and early 19th centuries.”


Torsten dos Santos Arnold CV

January 8th 2016 meeting

Attending: Loïc Charles, , Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Ivan Ledezma, Guillaume Plique,

1. Classifications in Neo4J
We now have a beta version of the algorithm that allows to change
«root» classifications while keeping as many links as possible with
«branch» classification.
We discuss how to best format the result of the algorithm so that it
can be used as a basis for further work
It will be tested on January 21st by Guillaume, Guillaume, Federico and Paul.

2. New Data
No news from Pierre, nor Lyon, nor Dunkerque.

3. Retranscriptions
No news from Marseille
The Eden treaty has been done
Gabriel and Torsten are progressing.
Cyril will treat Bordeaux.
Laura and Loïc’s interns will finish 1789.

4. Verification
Bordeaux, Rouen and Caen have been completed.
Tax information will not be included in Neo4J.
When have to think about a plan for the step by step integration of
new data to make the task manageable.

Nothing new. Things are on track.


On January 21st, Guillaume, Guillaume and Paul will test the algorithm (see point 1) On January 27th and 28th, the médialab will do a development meeting on data exploration. Gregory will be there. On January 29th (all day) there is a «big» TOFLIT meeting (9.30 at the Medialab). The next regular meeting will take place on February 19th, 9.30.

Decembre 11th 2015 meeting

Thank you to Béatrice who has prepared these meeting minutes !


Atending: Loïc Charles, , Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Paul Girard, Ivan Ledezma, Guillaume Plique, Grégory Tible.


1.   Exploration tools

The Toflit sprint has led to the creation of three “views” by the developer team:

  • Metadata view:
    • Allows exploring the availability of data
    • Number of directions by year
    • Available data by direction, and local/national
  • Indicator view:
    • Allows tracking trade flows
    • The user can explore the results with two graphs: number of flows by year, total value of flows by year (up to six curves by graph)
      • Question: histogram or curve?
    • Can select among four categories: Product (different classifications) / Country / Direction / Kind (export, import, total)
    • Create a new category “Source” to solve the problem of redundant flows (ex: Commerce de la Rochelle en 1750 is reported by different sources, both local and national)
  • Global view:
    • Allows exploring trade networks
    • Global views (networks) of flows by directions / countries
    • Cases where a colony appears as a Direction (when reporting) and as a country (when partner).
    • Cleaning work on Directions (e.g. grands ports, petits ports)


2.   Classifications

Updating the list of products (with the inclusion of Pierre’s data for example) has consequences on the whole chain from orthographic normalization to simplification and categorization.

Many cases: new items, renamed items, moved items, dropped items, new groups, splitted groups, suppressed groups (?).

– Paul and Guillaume are working on an algorithm to simplify the updating

– Pierre will finish orthographic normalization by December 19th.

– The algorithm will be written and tested before next meeting (January 8th)


3.   New data

No news of Lyon.

Paul will ask Pierre for the pictures in Bayonne’s archives.

Loïc will visit Dunkerque soon.



4.   Retranscriptions

Loïc believes everything can be finished in 2016.

Work done: Bordeaux, 1789 and 1792, colonies.

Work to be done: Marseille (post-1765), 1787 Eden treaty.

We need to get Gabriel’s files

Torsten will do some work on Nantes.

Laura will work three months as an auto-entrepreneur to retranscribe herself and direct the work of two of Loïc’s interns (in June and July)


5.   Verification

1789/1792 and tho colonies have been treated

Bordeaux is ready : Guillaume needs to check the integrate the data



6.   Budget

TOFLIT: Guillaume Plique’s contract will end at the end of January. As we might not have to pay tho «prime de précarité», we will be able to hire Grégory Tible.for a 5-month internship.


RICardo : Grégory Tible work on RICardo is coming to its end.

A new intern will be hired in February to work on RIC entities and the data visualization.


7.   Meetings

The next monthly TOFLIT meeting will take place on January 8th 2016 at 9:30 am at Médialab. The next one will be on February 19th.

There will be a TOFLIT development workshop on January 27-28th

There will be a full TOFLIT meeting on January 29th. In the morning, the Médialab will present its work. In the afternoon, we will discuss research projects in the perspective of the Chicago meeting in June 2016. Researchers will present a one or two page presentation of a research project, and we will discuss, among other things, feasibility and data needs.

November 6th 2015 meeting

Attending : Cyril Canet, Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Pierre Gervais, Guillaume Plique,  Grégory Tible

1. Ricardo
The abstract of the paper on design choices has been submitted to the Digital Humanities 2016 conference.
The methodological paper has been submitted to « Historical Methods»
The database and the documentation will be finished before the end of Gregory’s internship.

2. Neo4J
Guillaume Plique présents a new interface for managing the classifications.
A 3-day sprint will take place on Novembre 16th to 18th to kick-start the work on the data exploration module.

4. Classification of goods
Pierre Gervais progresses in the orthographic normalization. In the end, he estimates that between 5 and 10 % of the terms will still not be identified. However, that will be a much smaller part of the database.
He plans to finish on november 20th (computer issues have since made that impossible).
We discuss the simplification.

5. Retranscriptions
– No progress from Thasectra, which should still do imports in Marseilles
– For the rest, the situation in the same as in September.
– Gabriel and Torsten will each do one year in Nantes.
– We need to find a way to retranscribe some more data

6. Verifications
– Loïc is working on Bordeaux
– Guillaume Daudin will do Jérémy’s 1789 (National per direction) and 1792.
We still need to do Marseille, the colonies, the Eden treaty and the 1789 done by Anthony Rebours.

7. New data
We will ask Lyon again. Loïc is going to Dunkerque. We need someone for a picture in Bayonne : Paul has a suggestion (Pierre).

8. Cyril Canet
We discuss with Cyril Canet what he can do for the project during his stay in South Africa.

9. Werner Scheltjens
Werner will be invited in Dauphine in March 2016. At that point we will treat the issue of quantities.

10. Meeting schedule
TOFLIT Sprint  : November 16th-18th
Monthly TOFLIT meetings : December 11th and January 8th (9.30 each time)
« Full » TOFLIT meeting : January 29th.
Chicago TOFLIT meeting : June 2016

Transformations of the french economy through the lens of international trade, 1716-1821