Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Old Maps Online

Ars Technica reports: [edited]

The world’s single largest online collection of historical maps launched earlier this week at Old Maps Online. By the end of the year, the site aims to have 60,000 maps available for public access. Cooperating institutions include the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the Czech Republic’s Moravian Library and the San Francisco Bay Area’s David Rumsey Map Collection. The University of Portsmouth’s Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System hosts the collection in conjunction with Switzerland’s Klokan Technologies.

Starting from a map of your area, you can zoom in or reorient over a basic world map, then drill down. The right column contains a changing stack of maps germane to your area.

Each historical map you click on is presented in a separate frame that you can enlarge, drawn from the contributing institution. A slider across the top allows you to dynamically change the offerings by moving from as early as 1000 CE up to 2010 (check Google Maps for anything more recent). A search box allows you to navigate by place name.

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