Thursday, December 17, 2020

19th Century San Francisco in 3D

One really fun thing that you can do with the new 3D terrain option in Mapbox GL is to view historic vintage maps in 3D. This is particularly fun in places which have very interesting terrain - such as San Francisco. San Francisco, 1857 in 3D is an interactive map which allows you to view a mid-19th Century map of San Francisco overlaid on top of the city's hilly terrain.

The vintage map is entitled the 'City of San Francisco and it's vicinity, California' and was originally published in 1857. Elevation is shown on the map using contour lines and spot heights. The map also shows the locations and names of a number of important public buildings in the city. The map reveals San Francisco during a period of massive growth caused by the California Gold Rush. 

If you like this map then you might also enjoy my Vintage Mapper demo, which shows an 1833 map of Mount Vesuvius draped over the terrain of the volcano in Italy. This 1833 map, entitled, 'Vesuvius Showing the Direction of the Streams of Lava in the Eruptions from 1631 AD. to 1831 A.D.', visualizes lava flows. These colorful flows are particularly interesting when viewed on top of Mapbox GL's new 3D terrain layer.

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