Mosaics of Old Maps

One of the really cool projects that I get to work on is building indexes and access systems for the various maps that become part of the Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Network. (In case you don’t want to read the rest, just check out the beginnings of something I’m working on. View the map, then click “LUM 1942.”)

Many of the maps that were scanned so far are from old atlases, ranging from 1858 through the early 1900s. Then there are two sets of land use survey maps that were produced by the Works Progress Administration in 1942 and 1962. (Wikipedia says that the WPA was shut down by Congress in 1943, so I’m not sure where the 1962 set came from, but that’s what the title sheet says…)

Anyway, I’ve been having fun with the 1942 set of the Land Use Maps. The maps are arranged in a grid of 100 plates that covers Philadelphia, and are pretty straightforward to navigate. But in this modern day and age where Google offers a seamless coverage of the whole earth, who wants to flip through individual plates?

Enter the mosaic.

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