Friday, July 24, 2020

The Longer View of London

In November 1890 The Graphic (a weekly British newspaper) published a wonderful supplement for the enjoyment of its many readers. This supplement included two incredible panoramas of London showing the city 274 years apart.

One of the panoramic views printed in the supplement was a reproduction of Claes Jansz Visscher's engraving of London in 1616. The other panorama was a modern view of the city drawn by H.W. Brewer in 1890. When viewing these two panoramas of London side-by-side we get a fantastic view of London in the year that William Shakespeare died (1616) and of the London of the Victorian age.

I have created an interactive version of the two panoramas which allow you to explore these historic panoramas of London in close detail. My Longer View of London interactive map allows you to zoom-in and pan around both the 1616 and 1890 panoramas. The map also includes a scrollytelling investigation of the two maps to provide a little background information on some of the buildings and bridges which can be seen in the two panoramas. I also give a little context into the changes to the fabric of London which have occurred over the 274 years between each panorama.

If you want to clone my map of these two panoramas you can easily do so on the map's Glitch page.

At the heart of The Longer View of London is the leaflet-iiif plug-in. Museums and art galleries around the world use the iiif format to present artworks as zoomable images. The leaflet-iiif plugin allows you to use iiif manifests with the Leaflet mapping platform. To use a different image you just need to change the manifest URL in the map JavaScript code to a different iiif manifest.

I have also used the waypoints JavaScript library in my presentation of the two panoramas. Waypoints is used to control the scrollytelling elements. It is what triggers the panning and zooming elements as the user scrolls through the page.

The panoramas I examine in The Longer View of London are just two of the many similar panoramas created of London over the centuries. In The Long View of London I look at a few more of these historical views of the city, including the Wyngaerde Panorama from 1543.

This copy of the 'Supplement to "The Graphic" November 1, 1890' which I have used in The Longer View of London is owned by the David Rumsey Map Collection. If you click on this link you can explore an interactive map of the two panoramas without my commentary.

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