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Dépôt de la Marine

The Dépôt des cartes et plans de la Marine (repository of maps and plans of the Navy) is a French cartographic service created in 1720 by the Regent. It is the direct ancestor of the current hydrographic and oceanographic service of the French Navy. Initially created to bring together plans & maps, journals and memoirs of concern to the Navy, it quickly became the organisation with the primary responsibility for the collection, production, and distribution of geographical knowledge about the French colonial empire. In 1773 it was given a monopoly on the production of nautical charts in France. The Dépôt's Hydrographers included Philippe Buache (1720 to 1737), Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1741-1772), Giovanni Rizzi-Zannoni (1772-1775) & Rigobert Bonne (1775-1789)