In an interview for a computing job recently, I was told I would be doing cartographie.

In the context of IT what does this word mean? I'm guessing it means the mapping out of information flows and interactions between systems, but I couldn't find a definitive description or a non-geographical translation anywhere.

Edit I should have clarified, it's definitely not GIS.

3 Answers 3


It's exactly as you guessed: “the mapping out of information flows and interactions between systems”. It can also be used to draw relationships between network nodes.

The meaning you're looking for is actually present in dictionaries. For example, on the CNRTL site:

P. ext. Représentation par schémas de phénomènes physiques. Dresser une cartographie chromosomique.

In your case, it means mapping out the relationships between software systems or between network nodes (depending on your job).

We definitely use that word every day here at work.


Without a qualification, I'd think about geographical information processing.

With a qualification, it could be any mapping or even description of the state of something (Cette étude présente une cartographie de la société française is something you can ear), the qualification will precise what is described.

Now, in French as in English, a group of people working closely together can acquire a precise meaning for a term and forget or even be unaware that the meaning isn't shared outside of the group.


En général cela concerne un projet SIG.

Pour les administrations il s'agit de superposer les cartes (des villes ou des parcelles cadastrales par exemple) et des photos aériennes ou satellitaires de tout type, ou encore de s'assurer que plusieurs plans techniques (circulation, voirie, adduction d'eau, d’électricité) sont pertinents pour les projets d'urbanisation.

Sinon "cartographie" s'emploie en statistique pour valoriser sur une carte les endroits concernés par l'étude.

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