GIS Mazenzele 1858


Cadastre of the municipality of Mazenzele

Over the course of the 19th century, P.C. Popp published the cadastral plans and registers of numerous municipalities in Belgium. The maps show buildings, plots, roads, waterways and other landscape elements in unprecedented detail. Used in combination with the property descriptions, they constitute an important source for diverse research topics. The cadastre of Mazenzele published by Popp was fully digitised and converted into a Geographic Information System as part of the POPPKAD project.

Information sheet

Title: GIS of the municipality of Mazenzele

Author: Ghent University with the exception of specific sub-collections

Population/Subject: Geographic Information System

Region: Flemish Brabant, Belgium

Period: 1858

Number of units: 790 plots

Number of variables: 10

Format: CSV, XLS, SHP

Accessibility: No restrictions on top of the general terms and conditions of use of the Quetelet Center, with the exception of the base maps (shapefiles) which are not accessible. 

Context of the database

P.C. Popp published the cadastral plans and registers of 1 733 municipalities as part of the Atlas of Belgium. This unique publication is a gold mine for historical geography, industrial archaeology, social history, local history, toponymy and other areas of research. To date, historians and scientists have still not sufficiently exploited the cadastre because of the complexity and scale of the archive. The POPPKAD project was created to open up the cadastre for scientific research. As part of this project, the data on the plans and registers of a number of representative municipalities were fully digitised and linked to Geographic Information Systems. The localities were selected based on their location, size and socio-economic profile.

Mazenzele is located in the sandy loam region near Asse, between Aalst and Brussels. In 1858 it was a relatively small municipality with 863 inhabitants, 167 houses and 790 plots. The territory was largely taken up by arable land and the Kravaal forest. The property owners were mainly farmers, townspeople and nobility.

POPPKAD was funded by the Hercules Foundation and Ghent University.

What data can you find in this database?

The database brings together the following information per plot and landowner:

  • Type of plot (arable land , pasture, forest, etc.)
  • Type of building (dwelling, industrial building, etc.)
  • Area of the property
  • Cadastral class and income of the property
  • Name of the owner
  • Occupation of the owner
  • Residence of the owner

The plot map (scale 1: 2 500) was fully vectorised and geo-referenced.

How can you consult data from the database?

The database is managed by the Quetelet Center. Access to the database is subject to particular conditions. The information in the database described above is available for scientific research after approval of an application. Because of copyright and complexity issues, the base maps (shapefiles) are not available. Customised maps can be constructed by the staff at the center and made available in JPG or PDF format on request. Interested parties can contact the staff at the center ( or

Publications based on GIS MAZENZELE

  • Vrielinck, Sven. Grootse plannen: de kadastrale atlas van P.C. Popp: genese en datering (1840-1880). Amsterdam University Press, 2018.