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 online 3-D visualisation (with Google Earth) of these rare documents and compare the past with the present.
- By selecting a map within the project from the map section in the Online Gallery, the map here or from the listing of titles , you will be taken to the georeferencer tool where the historic map will appear on the left, with a modern map on the right.
- 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 to access the map's title and a description.
- Click on one map to assign a point, then assign a point at the same location on the other map.
- Assign as many points as you can over the entire map, being sure to extend as far to the edges as possible.
- Click the red “Save” button in the upper right when you are finished.
We have just completed the third phase of our project, during which nearly 800 more scanned historic map images were georeferenced . The names of participants have been credited on this site, and the British Library would like to thank these individuals for all the time and research that went into identifying the locations on these maps. In many cases, a great deal of detective work was required to solve the puzzles of geography and historical changes to the landscape.
The top contributor of this third release of historic maps was Maurice Nicholson of Bedford, England. He georeferenced 90 maps by assigning a total of 1534 points over four days.
Here's how it works...
See a video explanation of how to use BL Georeferencer
Once georeferenced, the map appears “overlaid” upon the modern landscape in Google Earth. The Google Earth plug-in will need to be installed - http://earth.google.com/plugin/ Detailed instructions can be downloaded here (PDF format).
If you wish to choose your own map, go to the Online Gallery to search. In addition to your search terms, be sure to include “map”, e.g. 'Ely map'. The the map section in the Online Gallery has thumbnails and descriptions by geographic area to browse.
For questions about the project, or to ensure that you are notified when a new set of maps become available for georeferencing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.