Thursday, October 10, 2013

The 19th Century Google Maps

The National Library for Scotland has worked with David Rumsey to scan and georeference the 1896 Ordnance Survey map of London. Thanks to their joint efforts we can now view the entire 729 sheets of 1:1,056 scale maps overlaid on top of a modern Google Map.

The maps provide a detailed view of London at the end of the nineteenth century, including residential and industrial premises, schools, asylums, hospitals, parks, canals, docks and railways, and even the interior layout of public buildings, such as cathedrals, churches, and railway stations.

The map is a great way to explore the drastic changes in London over the last century. A transparency slider tool allows you to compare the 1896 map with the modern map. Take a look at the River Thames on the 1896 map and you can see a London that is still a huge trading centre with miles and miles of docks. If you use the slider tool and examine the modern map of London you will find that those docks have now disappeared and been replaced with miles of river side apartments and office blocks.

You can also examine 19th century dockside activity on this 1872 Map of Liverpool. Again this historical map has been overlaid on top of the modern Google Maps so that you can pan and zoom in on details on the historical map.

I can't tell you any more about the map as no information is provided by the website other than the city and year.

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