I was always integrating maps in iNatting, knowing where people were before you or where you can’t get even if you wish. Historic maps would be an interesting addition, but before yesterday I thought there were no resources with digitizedd old maps, all I saw were pieces posted in Wikimedia, but when reading on history of Ryazan’ Oblast (XII-modern time) I found a website with old maps http://www.etomesto.ru/russia/maps.php, I was amazed by how some things changed and how some of them are seen today and some are gone, it’s one thing to say that old river bed was here cause we see some shapes on the ground and another is seeing a map where it’s drawn as an active river part! Some changes are very old, but some are still remembered by many, e.g. builduing of HPS or climate changes.
This is not the oldest example, but I lik the map, so you can see what I mean.
These are some things I’d like to visit: old apple gardens (almost all trees are gone); spots where houses were before (would never guessed they were there) + 2 dead villages; Tolpinskoye hillfort (in Wiki called Tolpinskoye ancient settlement, was there, but before iNat); check old river ways, especially those that are almost dry.
Do you know any similar websites, do you use them and what do you think about it all?
Acme Mapper (http://mapper.acme.com/) provides a nice ability to switch between different maps including Topo maps which are older and sometimes have interesting info. I’m only familiar with using it in US though, not elsewhere.
The official City of Vienna webpage (wien.gv.at) has an incredibly rich source of all kinds of data and documents - also environmental data such as soil types, nature reserves, a register of more than 200,000 planted trees (each of those clickable for information such as species name, year of planting, size etc.) - but also has made available a large collection of old maps and plans, which can even be overlayed over the modern map. Awesome!
Especially interesting is comparing the Danube before and after 1870, when it became highly regulated
I love Google Earth too! But it only has the latest maps here, I really wanted to look at 2002 when we moved to a new house, but everything before 2009 there is very blurry.
And sometimes it’s like that!
CT has this too but from the 1930’s. Amazing to see how the state looked 100 years ago, and you can compare images with today to potentially find areas untouched by man and possible high in biodiversity. It’s also very sad to see how many areas are completely destroyed like the Great Wallingford sandplain which is now reduced to a few isolated patches from the vast grassland it was in the early 1900’s.
For those who don’t remember the time before GPS, we used to have to use paper topographic maps to determine a location for a specimen record. Figuring out latitude-longitude could be tough from a paper map, at least to any precision (although there were plastic protractor-like devices you could use as an aid to determine degrees-minutes-seconds). In many US states, including mine, we typically used Township-Range-Section as coordinates, which could be more easily determined from most topographic maps … but it’s a rather bizarre system that took some practice to use easily and some areas (like land grants) were not mapped with T-R-S. Or we measured distances in miles north/south and east/west from a fixed location like the center of a town. Nothing like the ease today of getting lat-long in decimal degrees or UTM coordinates from a GPS or Google Earth to mark your spot.
I love doing this! One of my favourite things is to find old maps of cities and see where the parks or farms once were, then look for any lingering species there. Like, did you know that Battersea in London was a cricket park??
The German air force helpfully took high resolution aerial photos of Britain about 80 years ago. They are frequently used by ecologists to show habitat change. I don’t know where you can consult them though.