The Battir Landscape Project or the reinvention of Civilian Cartography, Battir Landscape Ecomuseum 20072011.
Battir ®Illustrator files: JdS Cartographer since May 2012.

Cartography & Citizenship


Battir, Mapping True Eyes on Palestine

The topography of Battir, village of Palestine, has been surveyed in the frame of the Battir Landscape Conservation and Management Plan, an anthropological Study carried out on site by a professional team from 2oo7 until 2o11 at Battir Landscape Ecomuseum. Sets of Data have been measured in the field to be mapped and studied, in order to call for an international recognition of the site through the knwoledge.

The Battir Landscape Project has been thought as a means of Defence of Territory and Human Rights.

In May 2o12, from the Battir Landscape Ecomuseum where he was working at that time, Hassan Muamer (Civil-Engineer and single Battiri involved in the survey) conveyed his files so that all together we do live Battir and its Laboratory of Ideas in the eyes of the world.

A new cartographic adventure started then from his invitation in France, to the International Festival of Geography (FIG October 2o12 «The Landscapes, Open-Air Maps » at St-Dié-des-Vosges, France).

Since May 2o12, the mapping of Battir has never ceased to be developed from Paris through ‘les Cafés-cartographiques’ activities and the National School of Geographic Sciences trainning programs.

les Cafés-cartographiques Facebook pages have been designed as early June 2o12 to share and spread freely as far as possible all these informations as tribute to civilian cartography:
les Cafés-cartographiques
les Ateliers des Cafés-cartographiques
les Cafés-carto Lycéens
les Cafés-cartographiques sur les Sentiers du Monde
le Comité Français de Cartographie /Cartographie & Communication
Comité Scientifique du Club Alpin /FFCAM
les Cafés-carto et les Cartes et Plans de la BnF

Photo: Nader Ali Owainah, Battir 2016.

Presentation of the unprecedented topographical adventure of Battir
 (village of Palestine, 5 kilometers west-Bethlehem) recovering a socio-anthropological study, supported by Unesco, including a survey and measures of every objects of the landscape (on 12Km2), to produce series of topographical maps to analyze, to understand and to share the riches of an heritage of several millennia, to call to its recognition.
A set of remarkable works, led on the ground from 2007 till November, 2011, within the framework of the Battir Landscape Ecomuseum (BLE), created for that purpose: ‘THE PLAN OF THE LANDSCAPES OF BATTIR’, ‘the first plan of this kind in Middle East’.
The survey has been implemented by a local team of professionals, out off the world of geographical or cartographical information, working on an aerial hight resolution photography, mainly with the tools of architecture (AutoCAD, ArcGIS and free softwares, etc.)
Mr Hassan Muamer, civil-engineer, the sole Battiri member of this visionnary team (and alone at BLE to follow these works after November 2011), transmitted, in May 2012, the keys of this study and its complete sets of digital files and data, so that all together we keep alive and updated such a mapping initiative for his village, in the framework of ‘les Cafés-cartographiques’ activities in Paris

After the acquisition of the West-Bank Orthophotography, between the National School of Geographical Sciences (ENSG/Marne-la-Vallée) and ‘les Cafés-cartographiques’, all became as soon as June 2012 a huge collaborative training program on topographical cartographical: 4 years of works and exchanges to rectify the geometry of such a topographical embroidery concerning 80 different topics extended through 5000 years of human maintenance, sharing its cultural benefit
An unprecedented amount of data collected by this initial team is today geolocated and working in any professional mapping plateforms:
GIS under licence or free and open source (from ArcGis®Esri, GeoConcept to QGis), OCAD (to develop orienteering activities on site).. Art and cartography under ®ILLUSTRATOR followed, including graphical semiology, to complete the program ‘Mapping to Communicate’.
#MappingBattir became in January 2015 a free access extented tool in OpenStreetMap, the worldwide participative project in open source

Photo: Hervé Quinquenel, Battir April/May 2014.

« Battir is a Palestinian village situated on the line that, from 1948 on, divides the West Bank fromIsrael. The integrity of its historical and archaeological landscape characterized by cultivated terraces and ancient irrigation systems, still in use, is being threatened. A Landscape Plan becomes the strategic tool to preserve both the places and the human rights.
The initiative for the safeguarding of the lanscape of Battir relies on the inventory of Palestinian cultural heritage sites initiated in 2004 by the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism in cooperation with UNESCO.
Giovanni Fontana Antonelli,

A Laboratory of Ideas for the Safeguarding of the Landscape of Battir, District of Bethlehem, Palestine, March 2014.

Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011 & 2012.

Location :
Battir (Parts of Beit Jala and Husan territories), District of Bethlehem, Palestine.

Ordering Institutions :
Municipality of Battir, represented by Mr Akram BADER, the head of Village Council, today Mayor of Battir,
and UNESCO Ramallah Office (Funding from Norwegian Government).

Management and Maintenance:
Landscape Ecomuseum of Battir.

Chronology: 2007-2011 & 2012.

Extension of the Project : 12,5 Km2.

     . Landscape Expert, Coordination of the Plan for Unesco, Vocational Trainings and Participation:

     Mr Giovanni FONTANA ANTONELLIUrban-architect. Project Coordination and Working Team Supervivion.

     . Other Experts and Consultants – Anthropology of Landscape – Planning Policy and Relations with the Local Community:

     Mr Nicola PERUGINIMadam Claudia CANCELLOTTI and Madam Patrizia CIRINO, Anthropologists. Anthropology of Landscape, Relations with the Local Community,
     Mr Pasquale BARONE, Landscape Expert – Landscape Planning Scientific Advisor.
     . Geology and Hydrology:
     Mr Francesco CINI, Geomorphologoist. Consultancy for Geomorphological and Hydrological Aspects

     . Collaborators, Authors of the Field Survey and the Topographical Maps of Battir – Territorial Analysis, GIS:

     Mr Samir HARB, Mr Mohammad ABU HAMMAD and Mr Mohammad HAMMASH, Urban-Architects. Territorial Analysis, GIS
     Mr Hassan MUAMER, Civil-Engineer. Territorial Engineering and Territorial Analysis, Management and Territorial Maintenance, GIS.

Awards Recognitions 2011, 2013, 2014 & 2016:

2011. Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes.

2013. The World Monuments Watch
Unesco World Heritage: Battir, Site in Palestine: Land of Olives and VinesCultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem,

Since 2015, the maps of Battir are submitted by foreign universities to different international awards and prizes.

2016. The Battir Topographical Patrimony is registered in the process WE LOVE MAPS  ‘INTERNATIONAL MAP YEARmanaged by the United-Nations & the International Cartographic Association ‘WE-LOVE-MAPS & MAPPING-BATTIR

« The map of Battir, as it was designed by palestinian, italian citizens,
represents much more than a simple cartographic tool only used to locate oneself
or to move in a place.

Here, beyond the cartographic object restituted,
it is the way the work was made since 2003 in Battir
witch promote a universal peaceful achievement: measuring the area where anyone is living, drawing the landscape,

mapping, studying shapes and their history, all these actions as an ongoing process,
help for building or rebuilding a strong individual identity,
to finally be reassured by one’s place in our world,
and then to approach with serenity the other one, the others, without fears, in peace. »

Madam Armelle Couillet, Chair of the Association ‘les Cafés-cartographiques’ –Cartographer

A Palestinian Masterpiece changing the readers of the world. Genesis of an Universal Collaborative Topographic Process Battir, village of Palestine, Unesco World Heritage Site a Worldwide Resonance, a Candidacy to the Nobel Peace Prize:
In order to preserve the visionnary spirit of this unprecedented Topographical Patrimony owned by the Battiris, this team embodies today a collective application to the Nobel Peace Prize: a tribute to Civilian Cartography to express Citizenship and Peace, a tribute to their collective Masterpiece, through the support of Mr. Akram Bader, as the Head of the Battir Village Council and representative of the people of Battir.

They all are represented by Mr. Hassan Muamer, Civil-Engineer, the sole Battiri team member, author and main actor of the field survey, of the restorations management and initiator of the sharing of the outputs of these works in 2012.

« The Battir Landscape Plan as a means of defence of territory and human rights. The initiative for the safeguarding of the lanscape of Battir relies on the inventory of Palestinian cultural heritage sites initiated in 2004 by the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism in cooperation with UNESCO. »

Giovanni Fontana Antonelli,
A Laboratory of Ideas for the Safeguarding of the Landscape of Battir, District of Bethlehem, Palestine, March 2014.


The first age: The Initial Mapping of Battir (2003-2007 and 2007 until November 2011)

Implemented in a pioneering spirit, this study has been managed by a team of professionals, without any support from institutions related to geographic information. Palestinian urban-architects, Italian anthropologists and other trades have been able to reproduce exactly what specifically characterises the “Civilian mapping”.

By completing the so-called “Base Map” – namely the map of the territory from the measurement of the field and the analysis of its objects at the 1:1 scale –, they offered access to the same quality of information to each citizen, whoever he was, wherever he was located in the works perimeter.

Topographical-scales maps, generated from those measurements by generalization, enable an in- depth reading of this territory and its intermingling issues.
This is, to this day, unique in the Middle East.

This civic experiment is unprecedented in the history of the world: its data belongs to the citizens of Battir, State of Palestine.

The topographic maps offer the correct reading distance of a space on the border line of times. Here, the team committed at the Battir Landscape Ecomuseum until November 2011, offered us to read with accuracy 5000 years of our world history, to share 12Km2 of data collected about 80 different topics, measured, interpreted, organized to be studied, prioritized by theme correlated with one another, represented to speak to us.

The next 20 maps and Landscape interpretations are a part of this initial mapping production (Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Site Location
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Geopolitical Zoning
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

West Bank Environmental Map
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Battir initial survey has been reported and mapped through this high definition Aerial-photography, the only local image of the landscape at disposal in 2007.

THIS IS A MAP Topographical Mapping produced from the survey implemented in Palestine, Battir village, in order to map the complete topographical topics up to date on 12Km2 in this region: Hydrographic System of Battir
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Geology
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Pasquale Barone, Anthropology of Landscape
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Base Map: Topogragraphical Overview
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Natural and Cultural Landmarks
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of the Human Settlement System
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Vulnerability: Internal Factors
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Prevalent Land Cover / Land Use
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of the Dry-Stone / Mansonry System: 554 linear kilometers of the antic network aquaduct system have been measured and studied.
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Land Units
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Land Use / Land Vocation
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

The Pathways of Landscape
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Agriculture Land: Types of Cultivation
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Space of Transformations and Related Risks
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Geo-Politocal Map
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

Map of Vulnerability: External Factors
(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2007-2011)

From the maintenance managed at Battir in 2012, different courses have been marked: Preliminary Tourist Trails.
Map of Trails by Eng. Hassan Muamer

(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2012)

BATTIR, CLARITY OF SENSATION جلاء السمع والبصر  by Nabeel Abu Laban (2013)

Shared with the kind permission of the author, Nabeel Abu Laban, film director.

To understand Battir, its Survey and the Socio-anthropological Study carried out in the frame of the Battir Landscape Ecomuseum:
BATTIR, CLARITY OF SENSATION جلاء السمع والبصر by Nabeel Abu Laban (2013)
with Giovanni Fontana Antonelli, Samir Harb, Urban-Architects,
and Hassan Muamer, Civil-Engineer, to explain.
Between 2oo7 and November 2o11, more than 12Km2 of Battir Territory and its surroundings have been surveyed, mapped and studied in order to share the knowledge about a World Patrimony maintained for several millenia, aiming to defend the Human Rights of its inhabitants
BATTIR, Village of Palestine, 5 km West of Bethlehem.
– an exceptionnal Civic Mapping_Topographical Program in the frame of the LANDSCAPE SURVEY, GiS MAPPING AND ADVOCACY PLANNING :
The initial Cartographical program of Battir has been implemented in the framework of the « Battir Cultural Landscape Conservation and Management Plan » ; the landscape survey aiming at producing an informed mapping of the territory of Battir was coordinated by Giovanni Fontana Antonelli, and implemented by Samir Harb, Mohammad Abu Hammad, Mohammed Hammash -Urban-Architets ; Hassan Muamer -Civil Engineer -the latter joining the team during the second phase of the survey, the only one Battiri involved in this study.
A socio-anthropological study complemented the Plan, driven by a multidisciplinary team of professionals contributed to the characterization of the various thematic aspects of the territory of Battir -the name and position of these professionals is written down in the headings of the maps.

This program has been funded by the Government of Norway and the World Heritage Fund, and managed by UNESCO Office in Ramallah — Culture Sector, at that time headed by Giovanni Fontana Antonelli.

_ 7 Facebook pages have been opened as soon as May 2o12 to enlighten and share this exceptionnal Mapping Topographical Program in the frame of « les Cafés-cartographiques » activities.

For the very first time in our history, topographical data and maps have been carried out by the civil society : here the palestinian civil society.
The inhabitants of Battir are the direct owners of their collections of data and topographical maps.

(Video 11:44)
« When you visit Battir today, you have the impression that somehow time has stopped. When you look at the countryside, when you look at the fields, and the terraces that are so strongly characterizing these landscape, it is ‘a terrace landscape’ because every single slope has been manufactured and shapped by human work.
Well. When you look at these terraces, and the people, the Felayin, the Paysans, cultivated his land, you feel the impression to be in a sort of ‘a Palestine of the past’.. simple but very genuine and original. »
Giovanni Fontana Antonelli, Battir 2013

The encounter between les Cafés-cartographiques’(1) and the Battir Mapping program (BLE, 24 April – 5 May 2012) was at first an answer to an invitation
offered by french landscape students

No specific project was planned, it’s important to understand it.

By a combination of circumstances, this encounter opened up a vast program related to the pedagogy in cartography at topographic scales. On the 12 km2 of topographic data sets of Battir, this local experiment enabled to develop an universal program of professional training in civilian cartography unprecedented in the history of cartography.

Mr Hassan Muamer, civil engineer, sole Battiri author of those visionary works, forwarded at the time, in 2012, the keys and original digital files, so we could all together make them live within “les Cafés-cartographiques” activities.
The latter having the primary objective of enabling free access for all publics to all sorts of links regarding cartography, which as scientific discipline is at a crossroads with all the others, which opens up exchanges, fosters communication and knowledge sharing, our answer to Mr Muamer needs – in its paths – has been immediate.

Dedicated at that time to the Ecomuseum of his village, he directed the restoration of the valleys and historic centre of Battir in the course of 2012. As of May 2012, as agreed with him, the first Facebook pages about our activities have been opened in order to promote and share the deployments of this topographic brief, becaming immediatly a collaborative cartographic adventure, collective, humain, encouraging, reassuring.


(1)  Les Cafés-cartographiques, association under the Law of 1901 created in Paris en Mars 2013. Founded in Octobre 1999 by Jasmine D. Salachas, ‘les Cafés-cartographiques’ offer to meet around the riches of cartography (our Web Site is in construction) Facebook pages of our activities are at disposal, free of personal account

Battir ®Illustrator files and illustrations: JdS Cartographer, since May 2012.

BATTIR LANDSCAPE PLAN : Explanations by Hassan Muamer, Civil-Engineer
and Giovanni Fontana Antonelli, Urban-Architect –Expert in cultural development program for Unesco from 1998 until June 2013

The survey, its ins and outs as well as its authors and their respective functions, are presented within the synthesis written by Giovanni Fontana Antonelli (major actor of the BATTIR LANDSCAPE PLAN, first of its kind in the Middle East, who fuelled it from the Unesco Cultural Office he led at the time in Ramallah): « Battir, a Laboratory of Ideas for the safeguarding of the landscape of Battir, District of Bethlehem, Palestine »

From the Battir Landscape Ecomuseum (between Tuesday 24 of April until Friday 4 of May 2012), Eng. Hassan Muamer explained in detail the study and forwarded all the collections of ©Data and ©Sources in order to share worldwide the knowledge about his territory and to possibly geolocate its topographical data from Paris, in the frame of ‘les Cafés-cartographiques’ activities and the National School of Geographical Sciences.
He impulsed an unwavering mapping support to Battir behind his steps following the survey that he contributed to produce in the frame of ‘The Battir Cultural Landscape Conservation and Management Plan’, aiming to produce this study characterizing 12Km2 of this terroir.
The topographical collaborative adventure took unexpected proportions we know until today, enlightened by the way the cultural patrimony of several thousand years old: the Battir Unesco World Heritage Site in Danger and the State of Palestine.

(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2012)


Battir, Makhrour Valley. Photo: Federico Busonero
The Land That Remains
Federico Busonero. Photographs from Palestine

Text(s) by Giovanni Fontana Antonelli, Anne Sanciaud Azanza, Federico Busonero, graphic design by Brooks Walker
English 2016. 171 pp., 79 ills.
hardcover 29.70 x 32.20 cm
ISBN 978-3-7757-4121-7

An Elegy for a Region: a photographic journey through occupied Palestine

Commissioned by UNESCO, Federico Busonero undertook three extensive journeys through the West Bank of the Occupied Palestinian Territory between 2008 and 2009. Using a traditional film camera and unmistakably, his heart, he created pictures that illustrate culturally important, rarely seen places in the topography of the Mashriq—the Arabic “places of sunrise” to the east of the Nile—villages and cities with extraordinary heritage, pastoral rolling hills and ancient olive groves, fertile wadi ecologies, sacred desert cemeteries, and vanishing millennial archaeological sites. A critical yet neutral gaze sheds light on the impending loss of Palestine’s cultural legacy with images of today’s broken history being occupied forcefully by another’s reality, reflecting visions of hope sacrificed in the land that remains.

©Data and ©Sources from a computer to another
in order to protect the Topographical Patrimony and to share it

(Battir Landscape Ecomuseum, 2012)

©Data and ©Sources from a computer to another
in order to geolocate these collections of data
offering the first topographical maps belonging to citizens
Battir, State of Palestine.

Photo: JdS, Battir April/May 2014.

©Data and ©Sources from a computer to another:
Battir ®Illustrator file in construction since Wednesday 25
, April 2012,
Jasmine Desclaux
Salachas, cartographer.
A beginning.
Battir, State of Palestine.

©Data and ©Sources from the Aerial Photography
to the Orthophotograpy
Battir, State of Palestine.