History of Cartography

Urban and Regional Historic Maps

3711.4 - Santa Cruz State and its evolution under a cartographic approach – Rio de Janeiro - Brasil

Monday, July 3
5:10 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Hoover

This paper was developed by GeoCart, Cartography Laboratory of the Geography Department of Rio de Janeiro Federal University, and aims to introduce the structure and evolution of the Santa Cruz Farm, since its idealization by the Jesuit priests, of the Society of Jesus, up to the present time, from the Historical Cartography approach.

The Santa Cruz Farm in Rio de Janeiro, was created by the order of Jesuit priests (the Society of Jesus) in 1656, through donations and land swaps. It was one of the most prosperous areas during the period managed by the Society. Its history begins in 1567 with the donation of lands for allotment in Guaratiba region, coming to occupy an area of approximately 3600 km2 in the middle of 18th Century, cutting almost all the captaincy in the north-south direction.

During the period in which the lands of the Santa Cruz Farm were under the administration of the Jesuit priests, stretching from the coast of Sepetiba Bay to the foothills of Sacred Family of Tinguá, the current city of Vassouras, from South to North ; and from Itingussu Island (Mangaratiba’s municipality) to Guaraqueçaba Island from west to east, making a total of ten square units, covering all the current district of Santa Cruz, in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, and ten Fluminense municipalities: Itaguai, Barra do Pirai, Mendes, Nova Iguaçu, Paracambi, Paulo de Frontin, Pirai, Rio Claro, Vassouras and Volta Redonda.

After the removal of the Jesuits from all Portuguese colonies in 1759, followed a management period under the Royal Crown between 1759 and 1821, becoming the Estate, in 1808, a summer palace for the royal family. With the independence becomes the Imperial Estate of Santa Cruz, under the management of the Portuguese crown and the Imperial Era from 1822 to 1889 under the administration of the empire’s government. In the republican period, starting in 1889 the Estate kept linked to the government known as the National Estate of Santa Cruz.

Since the beginning of the Republic a share of the National Estate was leased to tenants or granted indefinite lease conditions (long-term public lease lands to private individuals).
In the first government period of Getúlio Vargas the land tenure policy and colonization was implemented with the foundation of the Agricultural Colony of Santa Cruz, in 1938. Between 1939 to 1945 a Commission to inspect Land Titles demanded that its occupants provide the legitimacy of the titles due to land conflicts occurring at the time.

Today, the National Farm of Santa Cruz has an area of about eighty thousand hectare and in this territory, there are various land situations, such as in land tenure regime and occupation; undue occupation, without any title; regular and irregular occupations of possession; areas located in already considered urban areas, but with rural occupations; areas located in what is considered rural areas, but with urban use; areas being claimed by more than one applicant; areas of adverse possession, among others, featuring a critical, sensitive area, thus requiring a thorough and urgent regulation.

With the creation of INCRA in 1970, the National Agrarian Project of Santa Cruz Farm continued the land regularization process. The program was discontinued in 1988.

The applied methodology to the research was developed with the pursuit of historical documents and maps of each of the four periods mentioned. Maps from approximately 1725, 1808, 1848, 1934 as well as time series of the Army Historical Archives, between 1780 to 1909, will include the cartographic analysis of occupation aspects, land use, improvements and implemented structures thus allowing each of the skills established by the various administrations.

Paulo M. L Menezes

Professor Doctor
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Paulo Marcio Leal de Menezes
Associate Professor of the Geography Department (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).
Professor Doctor Surveying Engineer
Research areas: Historical Cartography, Geonformation, Cartography, Toponymy, Geoecology and GIS .
Works in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Cartography Laboratory, (GeoCart).
ICA Chair of Joint IGU, ICA Commission on Toponymy


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Manoel do Couto Fernandes

Professor Doctor
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Professor doctor Geographer of Geography Department (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro). Works in the UFRJ Cartography Laboratory (GEOCART). Research in the areas of Historical Cartography, Geoecology and GIS. Currently guides three doctoral students and five masters in the areas of Historical Cartography, Web Cartography, Geoecology and Geomorphology. It has a series of publications in journals, books and book chapters in the Cartography area.


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Tainá Laeta

PhD student
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Geographer and PhD student of Geography Department (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro). Research in the areas of Historical Cartography and GIS . Works in the UFRJ Cartography Laboratory (GEOCART).


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Paolla Cerqueira

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Paolla Duarte Cerqueira, studing to be a Geographer at Federal university of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), in Brazil. I am doing a internship at the Cartography laboratory (GeoCart), which belongs to the Geography Department of my university. currently I'm doing a cientific initiation program studing the Santa Cruz Farm, located in Rio de janeiro, based on it's historical maps.


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Mirela Altić

full professor, chief research fellow
Institute of Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia

Mirela Altić is a chief research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences in Zagreb, Croatia. In the Department of History, University of Zagreb, Dr. Altic holds the rank of full professor and lectures on the history of cartography and historical geography. Besides her specialization in South Eastern and Central European map history, last few years she publishes extensively on the Jesuit cartography of Americas and conducts research in European and American archives and libraries. She is the author of twelve books, numerous scholarly papers and a contributor to The History of Cartography Project.


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3711.4 - Santa Cruz State and its evolution under a cartographic approach – Rio de Janeiro - Brasil


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