Monday, March 18, 2024

Mapping the History of the Railway

Martin Brake has created a number of interactive maps which visualize the historical development of transport networks in Germany, London, Paris and Barcelona. His Timemap Timelines project provides an animated map for each featured city which shows how its transit network has grown over time. For example the screenshot above shows the development of the London Underground between 1858 and 1947.

Using the timeline control on each map you can navigate to any year to view a map of the city's transit network at that point in history (including trains, trams, lightrail, subways and funiculars). As well as the individual city maps Timemap Timelines includes an animated map which shows the development of the whole rail German network over time.

Martin warns that 'all the data is not correct'. I found out while creating my own animated map The First 50 Years of the London Undergound that it isn't always easy to determine the exact dates of when individual transit lines were opened and that different historical sources might give different dates. For my map of the history of the London Tube I relied heavily on Wikipedia. I have had to make several revisions to the map since its first publication thanks to a number of keen eyed observers spotting errors in the dates. I suspect that my map is still not 100% accurate.

You can view animated maps of other rail networks being constructed around the world on the amazing Citylines. Citylines is a collaborative platform which is busy mapping the public transit systems of the world. Using Citylines you can explore interactive maps visualizing the local transit systems of hundreds of cities around the globe. You can also use Citylines to explore how each city's public transport network has grown over time. 

My favorite feature of Citylines is the ability to view a city's transit network developing through time. Each city's transit system map includes a date control, which allows you to view the extent of the local transit network for any year in history. Press the play button on the map and you can view an animated map showing how the city's transit system has developed through history. 

Via: WeeklyOSM

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