Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mapping Your History

Historical maps are increasingly available in digital format these days but they are often difficult to find, tucked away in various locations on the web.

Old Maps Online is a new portal for web-based historical maps which aims to make that task a whole lot easier.

The interface allows you to browse and search old maps by panning and zooming across a world map.  A search bar and a date slider allow further narrowing of your search.  Alternatively the 'magnifying glass' icon allows you to highlight a particular area on the map (so you can just search for maps available of Ireland, for example).

Whatever search method you use, the results update accordingly in the right sidebar, which provides links to the maps in their hosting site or institution.

At present the maps contained are drawn from five different digital resources:
  • A Vision of Britain through Time, Historical Map Library
  • British Library, Map Library
  • Cartography Associates, the David Rumsey Map Collection
  • Moravian Library, Czech Republic
  • National Library of Scotland, Maps of Scotland
It was created by the Great Britain Historical GIS Project in University of Portsmouth and Klokan Technologies GmbH, Switzerland with funding from JISC and will continue to add further digital map collections through 2012.