Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Old Maps of Boston & New York

A few days ago I discovered this fascinating post by Bill Warner on how MIT at the beginning of the Twentieth Century acquired land and built a new campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This story of the construction of MIT's campus is illustrated throughout using old vintage maps of Cambridge.

The article uses screenshots from Mapjunction to compare before and after vintage maps of the area to show the development of MIT's Cambridge buildings. Mapjunction is Bill Warner's own impressive vintage map explorer which allows you to compare old vintage maps of Boston and New York side-by-side using an interactive map interface.

When you pan or move the map to a new location on Mapjunction the available historical maps for the current map view are automatically loaded into the two map layer menus. You can then simply select any two maps from the menus to view them side-by-side. A slider control on the map allows you to swipe between the two different vintage maps. If you move the slide control button up or down you can also adjust the opacity of the vintage maps.

Mapjunction currently seems to have a lot of vintage maps of Boston and New York - vintage maps of other cities may also be available but I have yet to find them.

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