In an attempt to buy myself some time to work on a side project, I’ll be forgoing my normal Tuesday post. In its place, I have a present for you, gentle readers! One which should be of particular interest to those map-heavy GMs among you: Old Maps Online. It’s a fantastically designed repository of old maps, dating as far back as the 16th century.
The interface is intuitive, and should be relatively familiar to anyone who has ever used google maps, though obviously it works slightly differently without satellite images. You start by zooming in on the part of the world you’d like to explore. As you zoom in and out, the selection of historical maps on the right hand side of the website will change. If you hover your cursor over these maps, you’ll see a highlighted box on the screen which shows the area the selected map details. You can even set a date range for the map between 1000 CE and 2010 (though, as noted, I don’t believe they’ve yet added any maps prior to the mid 1500s). Once you’ve got a map you want to look at, just click it, and you can explore it in all of its high resolution glory.
I’m not much of a cartographer myself, but I would like to improve my skills in that area. And this seems like a marvelous tool! Here are just a handful of samples from the site’s massive collection: