Georeferencing: a second life to old maps

Georeferencing allows you to overlay historic maps on modern maps or other historic maps. The overlaid maps reveal changes over time and enable map analysis and discovery. With georeferencing Utrecht University Library wants to give especially research and education optimum access to its collection of old maps.

People with interest in history and maps can help georeferencing the Utrecht University Library collection of old maps, by clicking on the 'Fix the location of a map' link below (if available; otherwise wait for new projects to come). Users who georeference the most maps will be recognized in the bar displays below. Recently georeferenced maps can be viewed by image or by location.

N.B. Best viewed in Chrome and Firefox.

Georeferencer

For georeferencing use is made of the innovative software of Georeferencer, version 4. Features in this version include various viewing possibilities (Overlay, Grid view to compare multiple maps, Swipe, Spy Glass, and built in 3D viewer), Transcribe and GeoEditors, and the availability of georeferenced files for re-use in own GIS applications.

Georeferencer version 4 has two main windows:

Consecutively, these windows will be explaind below.

Georeferencing maps in ‘This map/Georeference' window

This window allows you to georeference maps, view maps in 2D and 3D, geoedit maps, get map links for GIS apps, transcribe annotations on the maps, and more.

De 'This map'-pagina, met de kaart van Holland door Pieter van den Keere, 1617.
The 'This map' window, with the map of Holland by Pieter van den Keere, 1617.
De 'Georefereer'-pagina, met de kaart van Holland door Pieter van den Keere, 1617. De rode punten zijn de toegekende referentiepunten.
The 'Georeference' window, with the map of Holland by Pieter van den Keere, 1617.
Nauwkeurigheidscontrole door gebruik van 'Coordinates', kaart van Holland door Pieter van den Keere, 1617. De rode cirkels kunnen duiden op onnauwkeurig geplaatste referentiepunten, maar zijn ook vaak het gevolg van onnauwkeurigheid in de oude kaart.
Checking accuracy using 'Coordinates', map of Holland by Pieter van den Keere, 1617.
3D-weergave van een kaart van een deel van de Alpen.
3D-view of a map of a part of the Alps.

Comparing maps in ‘Overlay & compare' window

This window allows searching for maps from various sources, then comparing them using several different views: Overlay, Grid, Swipe, and Spy glass.

Het vergelijkingsscherm van Georeferencer (Overlay & compare), kaart van Holland door Pieter van den Keere, 1617.
The 'Overlay & compare' window.

The Georeferencer 'Overlay & compare' page below shows a grid view of four maps of the environment of Rotterdam made at different times from the present back to 1684.

Four maps of Rotterdam from 1684 to the present shown in the grid view in Georeferencer.

The Georeferencer 'Overlay & compare' page below shows a swipe view of two maps of the environment of Rotterdam - the present day map and the 1684 map.

Kaart van het Hoogheemraadschap Schieland (detail van Rotterdam), 1684, in de 'Swipe'-weergave van Georeferencer.
Map of the water control board of Schieland (detail of Rotterdam), 1684, shown in the swipe view in Georeferencer.

The Georeferencer 'Overlay & compare' page below shows a spy glass view of two maps of Rotterdam and surroundings - the present day map and the 1684 map.

Kaart van het Hoogheemraadschap Schieland (detail Rotterdam), 1684, in de 'Spy glass'-weergave van Georeferencer.
Map of the water control board of Schieland (detail Rotterdam), 1684, shown in the spy glass view in Georeferencer.

Progress of the recent project on maps in the Ackersdijck Collection (finished!)

 

Logo Egis

The georeferencing project on maps in the Ackersdijck Collection was made possible by a generous gift of EGIS (Foundation European Conference on Geographical Information Systems). Jan Ackersdijck (1790-1861) was a Utrecht professor economics and statistics. He set up an own map collection, and used these documents among other for his courses. In 1864 the collection of about 1,500 maps was donated to the Utrecht University Library by his widow. The books and archives of Ackersdijck were also donated to the library.


Progress of georeferencing of all maps


Top contributors all time

 



Search engine

All georeferenced maps of the Utrecht University Library are accessible through a powerful search engine (search for key words, scale, timeline etc.), which can also be opened full screen for a better performance:

The website of Old Maps Online also gives access via a geographical interface to thousands of scans of cartographical documents, belonging to the collections of several other libraries and institutions. 


Georeferenced map finder



Questions about georeferencing?