Compare early and modern maps

by georeferencing

You create a virtual reality by putting an early map on top of a modern one. That's what georeferencing means. In this way you compare old to new situations. The georeferenced map layers show the changes over time. In addition,  the old maps can be better analysed and are therefore better suitable for research purposes. By georeferencing Utrecht University Library wants to create perfect access to its collection of early maps for lecturers, researchers and students. The georeferenced maps can be used directly in your own geographical software and the georeferenced maps are easy to find via an interactive world map.

Digital access to 2,500 maps

A total sum of about 2,500 early maps have been made digitally accessible with the help of georeferencing. This was an extensive project, for which we called in a large audience by means of online crowdsourcing.

Apply georeferencing

What can be done with all these digitised and georeferenced maps? Read this article to learn how lecturers, researchers and students apply georeferencing in their daily practice.

To georeference early maps we use innovative software from Georeferencer, version 4. This version has many functionalities, such as:

  • several view options: overlay, grid for comparing multiple maps, swipe, spy glass, 3D-viewer;
  • creating transcriptions;
  • including early maps in GeoEditors and
  • georeferenced files are available for reuse in for instance your own GIS applications.