Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Mapping Constantinople

The city of Istanbul was founded as Byzantium in the 7th century BCE. In 330 CE, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great made it his imperial capital and Byzantium became Constantinople. 

You can explore the lasting remnants of Roman 'Byzantine' Constantinople in the modern city of Istanbul on the interactive map City of Constantine. Across the city many archaeological remains have survived from Roman times, including the Hagia Sofia, the Roman walls and gates, churches, columns and a number of palaces. 

All of these archeological remnants of the Roman era can be found marked on the City of Constantine map. On the map colored markers are used to show the location of each site. The colors used indicate each site's current condition, ranging from 'vestigal' to 'good'. Importantly, for the virtual tourists among us, the City of Constantine includes the option to view many of the most important archaeological remains using Street View's panoramic imagery.

If you are interested in the more modern history of Istanbul then you might also be interested in the Istanbul Urban Database. The Istanbul Urban Database allows you to explore a series of historical vintage maps, city plans and photos of the Turkish capital. It aims to provide an archive of Istanbul's urban history and "contribute to the collective memory of Istanbul". 

At the heart of the Istanbul Urban Database is an interactive Leaflet powered map, on which you can overlay vintage maps of the city, historical city plans, vintage photographs and some of Istanbul's historical transportation networks. The vintage map options include Pervititch insurance maps (1921 - 1946) and several Ottoman era maps from the Harvard Map Collection. 

The opacity of the vintage map overlays can be adjusted using the map's opacity control. This allows you to compare the historical maps of the city with a modern(ish) satellite view of the city. It is also possible to compare two different maps side-by-side. This option includes a swipe control which allows you to compare and switch between your two selected maps. 

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