Blaeu maps and plans georeferenced

A map of Alkmaar in Old Maps Online with a map of Joan Blaeu from 1649 virtually put on top.
Plan of Alkmaar, ‘Toonneel der steden’, Joan Blaeu, 1649.

Through crowdsourcing, the Utrecht University Library recently georeferenced all maps and plans from the famous Atlas maior and Toonneel der steden of the 17th-century Amsterdam publisher Blaeu.

In georeferencing, scans of old maps are virtually superimposed on a modern map. That way, you can observe changes over time, for example. It also makes the old maps easier to find because you can search them geographically. And furthermore, the library makes the georeferenced maps available free of charge for reuse in research.

Blaeu's maps and city plans are made accessible in several ways. Most simply, you can use the Old Maps Online application. In this viewer, you can filter by the keyword ‘Blaeu’. Logging in also gives you access to the download of the scan and links for use in specialized software, such as ArcGIS.

More information about georeferencing can be found on our georeferencing page.