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Help us place our digitised maps

Are you interested in local history and old maps? Would you like to explore historic places across the globe? If so, you can help the British Library. You can quickly create an overlay of historic maps on current mapping and compare the past with the present.

You can join the latest phase of our project, which features over 50,000 more maps from the British Library collections. Help us identify accurate locations for these historic maps! Bear in mind that some places have changed significantly or disappeared completely, creating a puzzle that reveals an exciting contrast.

Your name will be credited, and your efforts will significantly improve public access to these collections. Contributors can see the results of their work, as well as the progress of the pilot and other participants, and the top contributor will be publicly announced.

Fix the location of this map

Let's begin...

  1. See a video explanation of how it works
  2. By clicking the orange button above, you will be assigned a map at random. In the application, the historic map will appear on the left; a modern map will appear on the right.
  3. Zoom into the old map enough to read it, and then find the corresponding location on the modern map. Use the gazetteer at the top if necessary. Click on the “This map” tab for more information.
  4. Click on one map to assign a point, then assign a point at the same location on the other map.
  5. Assign as many points as you can over the entire map (minimum of three).
  6. Define the content area of the map by "clipping" the borders (see video instructions).
  7. Click the red “Save” button in the upper right when you are finished.

An additional step has been added:

8. Add a title to the map by clicking on the "Add title to this map" link in the lower left corner in the Georeference tab. The title should describe what the map is of, e.g. Map of Copenhagen. Type the title in the box, click on the Set Title button, then Save.

The map will then appear “overlaid” upon the modern landscape.

Detailed instructions can be downloaded here (PDF format).

If you wish to review the Flickr maps, including those in this release, go to the Flickr British Library maps subset. The individual image page in Flickr will indicate that map has been georeferenced, with a link “Go to BL Georeferncer to view this overlaid on to a modern map”, OR will invite you to georeference it for the first time (with a link to the application)!


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Maps within 17th, 18th, and 19th-century Books

For questions about the project or help, contact

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