Wednesday, July 21, 2021

360 Degree Panoramic Maps

The Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library has created some interesting interactive maps from panoramic images in their collection. In Maps that will make your head spin you can view three different historical panoramic sketches as 360 degree panoramic images. 

The panoramic images in this little virtual reality collection include an 1860 360 degree drawing of the Battle of Gettysburg, an 1850's engraving of Boston as seen from Bunker Hill, and the view from Mount Washington as drawn in the early 20th Century.

This isn't the first time I've seen an interesting presentation of the panoramic view from Mount Washington. John Nelson and Jinnan Zhang created an interesting Rotating Bird's Eye View From Mount Washington. In John and Jinnan's interactive version of the Boston and Maine Railroad's map you can rotate the map using your mouse's scroll-wheel. As you scroll on the page the map rotates around its center.

The Birds-eye view from summit of Mt. Washington; White Mountains, New Hampshire was created in 1902 by the Boston and Maine Railroad company. The map shows the view from Mount Washington in New Hampshire. The map numbers all the mountains surrounding Mount Washington and identifies each of them in corresponding lists in each of the map's four corners. What is most interesting about the map is its 360-degree panoramic perspective. The mountain summit and the railroad station are positioned at the center of the map. The surrounding topography is then distorted and wrapped around this central view. 

If you held the map in your hands at the top of Mount Washington and rotated the map to reflect your direction of view you could easily identify each of the mountains in your current vista.

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