“Prachtsatlanten” - a new georeferencing project of Zentralbibliothek Zürich

Sunday, February 19, 2023

More than 2900 digitized maps from the most magnificent atlases of the Zentralbibliothek Zürich archives are waiting to be geographically located by those interested. Often ornately decorated maps from 15th-17th century splendor atlases were selected for this project. Discover how, as the world was explored, outlines of land masses on maps changed or borders shifted due to disputes. There are also imaginary islands and sea monsters in the ocean and wild animals on land to discover.

To help match scanned historical maps to the real world, please visit https://www.zb.uzh.ch/de/ueber-uns/citizen-science/prachtsatlanten-alte-landkarten-georeferenzieren



OldMapsOnline - new version released

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Compare and overlay maps with each other! In the new version released in December 2022, we integrated the Compare tool into the www.oldmapsonline.org search engine. Now you can easily study the evolution of a place in different time periods by visually comparing different maps. Work with two or more maps together, stack the maps in a pile, adjust transparency to compare the maps with each other, and favorite maps you like the most.


You can find favorited maps anytime in the newly added “My maps” section. Upload and georeference scanned maps and create your own map collection.

We also optimized the system and prepared our online tool for implementation of new features that will appear soon in the following oldmapsonline.org versions.

From its first launch in 2012, the website has had millions of visitors and thanks to our partners, such as The British Library, National Library of Scotland, David Rumsey, Harvard Library, Dutch National Archives, Charles University in Prague and many other institutions worldwide, OldMapsOnline is currently indexing over 527,000 historical maps.

Visit oldmapsonline.org, explore collections of historical maps, find places of your interest, compare and overlay your favorite maps and immerse yourself in exploring the past.

We are open to cooperation, and we welcome your constructive feedback which you can send via https://support.oldmapsonline.org/knowledgebase or via [email protected].


Utrecht University - "Atlas Maior" maps by Blaeu ready for georeferencing

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A new crowdsourcing project of Utrecht University Library! A total of 847 maps from “Atlas Maior” and “Toonneel der Steden” by Joan Blaeu have been added to Georeferencer application and are ready for georeferencing. The Atlas Maior is the final version of Joan Blaeu’s atlas published in Amsterdam in 1662-1672, which contains 594 maps and approximately 3.000 pages of text, and was the largest and most expensive book published in the seventeenth century.

For more information about this collection please visit: https://www.uu.nl/en/special-collections/the-treasury/maps-and-atlases/atlas-maior-by-blaeu and help to match scanned historical maps to the real world at: https://uu.georeferencer.com/start



Swiss Maps Added to OldMapsOnline

Friday, January 07, 2022

Following the successful completion of Zentralbibliothek Zürich’s georeferencer pilot “Durch Raum und Zeit”, maps from the ZB georeferenced collections have been added to the OldMapsOnline search portal.

Explore Switzerland between the 16th and 19th centuries and enjoy a beautiful collection of historical maps.

With these 2,500 maps, the number of indexed historical maps in OldMapsOnline has grown to more than 520,000. We invite all historical map enthusiasts from the general public and the research community to explore maps not only in Switzerland but also in other countries.

Check the new collection on OldMapsOnline


Zentralbibliothek Zürich - new Georeferencer pilot

Thursday, June 10, 2021

New Georeferencer crowdsourcing pilot has been released for Zentralbibliothek Zürich. More than 2500 digitized old Zürich and Swiss maps from the Maps and Panoramas Department of Zurich’s central library are waiting to be georeferenced. Help to locate geographically old maps from three collections:

Zeitreise Kanton Zürich: In this collection, you can find 840 maps, which essentially show the area or parts of today’s Canton of Zurich.

Landkarten made in Zurich: This collection includes over 1000 maps that were designed or printed in Zurich. In addition to maps showing the area of ​​other cantons, there are also maps of Switzerland and city and bird plans, such as Johann Jakob Scheuchzer’s bird plan of the city of Lucerne: “La ville de Lucern, en Suisse” from 1723.

Alte Schweizerkarten: The large number of 645 Swiss maps include highlights such as the map “Helvetia prima Rheni et V. nova tabula” from Sebastian Münster’s “Geographia universalis” from 1540.

For more information about this project please visit: https://www.zb.uzh.ch/en/ueber-uns/citizen-science/durch-raum-und-zeit


Successful pilot of Moravian Library in TV

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Moravian Library in Brno, Czech Republic announces the results of the successful georeferencing contest, which was launched this year on the Staremapy.cz portal.

The crowdsourcing online event ran from July 8 to August 31 and a total of 2797 old maps were successfully georeferenced and processed by the online volunteers.

In less than two months, the participants working over the Internet from the comfort of their home identified a total of 62205 location points in the scanned maps and connected them to modern locations. This effort, among other things, made it easier, to discover the scanned old maps in the catalogues and international search databases and overlay them on top of modern maps - to compare the past with the present.

The new georeferenced maps from the Moravian Library and other domestic and foreign map collections can be found through the OldMapsOnline.org portal.

The OldMapsOnline project helps to make the historical maps more accessible to the general public. A large number of maps are stored in the collections of Czech cultural heritage institutions, which have been undergoing digitalization in recent years.

The Czech National TV broadcasted a report about this georeferencing pilot and map collection of the Moravian Library in the tv news.

Video from ceskatelevize.cz - © Copyright 2020 Ceska Televize. Reportage in czech language.


4000 new maps in OldMapsOnline

Friday, October 23, 2020

We are continuously and constantly enlarging the number of maps in our search engine database OldMapsOnline.org. We have recently added new historical maps and you can now search and explore maps from Utrecht University Library collections, Leiden University collections and many others. Currently, we have almost 500.000 maps listed thanks to all the participating institutions.

Please see the list of institutions that helped us.


Georeferencer for TU Darmstadt

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Over 400 historical maps have been released by Technical University Darmstadt in a new Georeferencer pilot. The map collection of ULB has around 37.000 sheets from 16th to 20th century. Over 1.000 of them is scanned already and are coming back to the online life. Information about the project can be found at: http://www.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/spezialabteilungen/kartensammlung/georeferenzierung/index.de.jsp

georeferencer | customers

OldMapsOnline.org in Internet Scout

Monday, November 30, 2015

Map lovers will find hours and hours worth of cartographic joys on this site that draws sources from the U.S. Geological Society, the National Library of Scotland, the Land Survey Office of the Czech Republic, and many other participating institutions.  Beginning as a project between Klokan Technologies GmbH, Switzerland and The Great Britain Historical GIS Project, OldMapsOnline “aims to demonstrate a combination of tools for publishing historical maps with a focus on their easy accessibility for the general public.

Full review available at: https://scout.wisc.edu/report/2015/1127#11land and The Great Britain Historical GIS Project, OldMapsOnline “aims to demonstrate a combination of tools for publishing historical maps with a focus on their easy accessibility for the general public.


Georeferencer for Leiden University

Friday, August 28, 2015

In Leiden University, over 300 of hand-drawn manuscript maps from the collection Van Keulen have been georeferenced in the new pilot. The maps were drawn between 1704-1755.

After more then 300 years it was quite tricky to place the control points, as nearly all places are using different names and on some places the landscape shape was changed significantly as well.

More information about the project available at: http://www.library.leiden.edu/special-collections/special/maps-in-the-crowd-eng.html#participate-and-win

georeferencer | customers

OldMapsOnline - new version released

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

OldMapsOnline is a search engine for maps that allows visitors to explore and discover the beauty of historical maps depicting a past geographical place of their interest.  In the new version released in July 2015, additional maps have been added and the website already indexes over 400,000 scanned maps from collections of The British Library, National Library of Scotland, David Rumsey, Harvard Library, Dutch National Archives, Charles University in Prague, New York Public Library and other institutions worldwide. It is a well-known project in the cultural heritage sector. From its first launch in 2012, the website has had over 1,500,000.  OldMapsOnline provides a single entry point for searching maps of the same geographical location without the need to know which library holds the actual map. This is a real benefit for researchers and students because it saves their time, effort and costs.  For more information visit www.oldmapsonline.org. launch in 2012, the website has had over 1,500,000.  OldMapsOnline provides a single entry point for searching maps of the same geographical location without the need to know which library holds the actual map. This is a real benefit for researchers and students because it saves their time, effort and costs.  For more information visit www.oldmapsonline.org.


Georeferencer for State Library New South Wales

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Glad to see another Georeferencer project for State Library New South Wales in Australia. The tricky part of this project were significant changes in names of the streets, which needed the contributors with local knowledge.

Over 900 maps were successfully placed and the obtained data enriched the library catalogue with geographical locations. More information about the project is available at  http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/using/map_georeferencing.html

georeferencer | customers

IIIF viewer at The National Library of Scotland

Friday, March 06, 2015

We are glad to see our IIIF Viewer applied on various websites. IIIF Viewer is an Open-Source component brought by Klokan Technologies. IIIFViewer is optimized for desktop and mobile devices (iOS, Android), is open-source, free to use and has, compared to other viewers, the following extra features:

  • Rotation on client side: pinch with fingers, alt-shift drag with the mouse.
  • Drawing tools: polygons, lines, markers — can be used to annotate parts of the pictures.
  • Color adjustment: saturation, lightness, etc.The source

Code is available on GitHub.

See examples of usage.

A nice example are the Maps of Scotland from the National Library of Scotland.

customers | tileserver | iiif | open-source | iipimage

Planned downtime: Saturday 17th January 2015 10am-5pm CET

Friday, December 19, 2014

We would like to give advanced notice to all our users that the infrastructure that our sites and services run on is being upgraded. This is essential maintenance and whilst it is happening Old Maps Online will be partially, and at times may be completely, unavailable.

This will occur on Saturday 17th January 2015 between 10 am and 5 pm (Central European Time).

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


IIIF for images in cultural heritage

Monday, October 20, 2014

Online scans of culture heritage documents, such as old maps, books, photographs, etc. are being published by the galleries, libraries, archives and museums.  Until now there was no official standardisation activity in this area. This is now changing with the International Image Interoperability Framework IIIF (http://iiif.io/), which enables easy access to large raster images across institutions.

We are happy to announce a new Open Source IIIF viewer, with several useful features: 

  • Rotation on client side  - pinch with fingers, Alt-Shift drag with the mouse- Drawing tools - polygons, lines, markers - used to annotate parts of the pictures- Color adjustments - saturation, lightness, etc

Demo available at: http://klokantech.github.io/iiifviewer/

The viewer is pure Java Script, mobile optimised with almost native feeling for zoom and powered by OpenLayers V3 open-source project, where we are co-developers (see blog post).

Feel free to try at: http://klokantech.github.io/iiifviewer/

Source codes are available on GitHub: https://github.com/klokantech/iiifviewer/

This viewer is another important part of the mosaic of open source tools for publishing of large images and maps. Together with high-performance open-source JPEG2000 image server can be used to serve thousands of users in a very fast and efficient way.

The mentioned server providing IIIF endpoint for the JPEG2000 images was developed and released by Klokan Technologies in cooperation with the National Library of Austria and their Google Books scanning project, the Austrian Books in 2013. The documentation is available at: https://github.com/klokantech/iiifserver/ Server software runs under Linux, Mac OS X as well as Windows. There is even an easy to use installer.  It is powered by IIPImage server and our code has been recently refactored and merged back to the main IIPImage repository.

Support and maintenance for installation of this open-source software can be provided by Klokan as well as the access to JPEG2000 Kakadu license.

The documentation is available at: https://github.com/klokantech/iiifserver/

osgeo | open-source | iipimage

Utrech University used our Georeferencer

Friday, August 15, 2014

Klokan Technologies applied Georeferencer tool for Utrecht University.

There is an important issue in the Netherlands due to climate change and sea level rise problems with water retention. The University of Utrecht has an access to the collection of maps with a strong emphasis on hydrography. Part of these maps were digitized and made accessible for a large audience.

Included in mentioned collection of over 1,500 maps and atlases is also around 300 sheets of water boards, river diversions, plans for channels, dikes etc.

This collection represents important resource for landscape research and shows maps of regions, mainly Dutch. The georeferencing of the collection was realized in April 2013. With the help of this application coordinates can rather simply be added to scanned maps. Next the georeferenced maps can be consulted by means of a KML link in Google Earth or in Georeferencer’s own viewer.

Georeferencer gives archives, libraries and institutions an affordable and simple way how to engage broader public to work and become involved in attractive map collections, provides 3D visualization of maps via Google Earth and offer amazing possibility to unite past with the present.

georeferencer | customers

Impact video now available

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

As part of the Jisc funding requirements the Old Maps Online team had to produce a video report on the impacts of the website. As the site launched early on in the life of the project there was plenty of material for inclusion in the video and lots of people willing to talk about why they like the site.

The filming was done on location at the one-day conference, Working Digitally with Historical Maps, that we organised in Edinburgh in December 2013 and we are grateful to the National Library of Scotland for allowing this.

The British Library Georeferencer: new 2800 maps!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In these days you have the unique opportunity to get involved and help the British Library to georeference new digitized maps, which were selected for scanning and online publishing recently.

Nearly 2800 maps are now available online and waiting for georeferencing. It is really easy process.

See this video:

and start at:  http://www.bl.uk/maps/ This release has implemented new functionality for use within social media, including better personalisation and visualisation options. It is possible to compare two old maps and create a personal map collection with the new “My Maps” function.

Klokan Technologies also prepared new Facebook application for georeferencing maps from the BL, you can participate and in the same moment compete with your FB friends: https://apps.facebook.com/georeferencer/

Moreover, involved contributors can choose from two different collections of maps, which were selected for release:

First collection represents maps of British and Irish towns and its fire insurance plans (2500 maps). This collection provides information, which you will not find somewhere else, not just about the land use, buildings, but also about the urban landscape in the late 19thc - 20th century.

Second collection consists of military maps from the World War I and US Civic War (225 maps). Among these maps you can find trench maps, campaign charts and also ethnographic mapping.

Each contributor will see his/her details and the best contributor will be publicly announced.

For more information, please follow this link: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/magnificentmaps/2013/11/2700-new-maps-online-for-georeferencing.html

georeferencer | customers | iipimage

The Austrian National Library Google Books open-source image server

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Austrian National Library scanned first 100.000 complete historical books from the beginning of 16th century until the second half of the 19th century within the project Google Books project participation. These unique historical books are now accessible online.

You can read the Press Release here: http://www.onb.ac.at/services/presse_21764.htm Klokan Technologies GmbH provided the Austrian National Library with the open-source IIPImage software for the display of scanned books from JPEG2000 format.

Klokan Technologies extended the mentioned open-source project with the implementation of IIIF protocol. Used protocol was defined by the consortium of people from Stanford University, Oxford University, British Library etc. (for more info please visit:  http://www-sul.stanford.edu/iiif/image-api/1.1/).

The IIIF image API specifies a web service that returns an image in response to a standard http or https request.

About 600.000 copyright-free works are supposed to be digitized.

customers | iipimage

FOSS4G 2013: Old Maps Online and Georeferencer

Sunday, September 22, 2013

OSGeo’s Global Conference for Open Source Geospatial Software that brings together developers of map applications from all around the world. This year the conference took place in Nottingham in the UK 17th - 21st September and Klokan Technologies was there.

You can find conference’s website at:  http://2013.foss4g.org/ and all presentations are available in the slideshow on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWW0CjV-TafaBjkroiOxcQw8NdOQ_fhu2 Anyone interested has a possibility to view the presentations from the record.

Probably the most interesting are the technical presentations about the new OpenLayers3, which is the project on which we participated and which will be used in the new version Georeferencer and StareMapy.cz.

Technical details of our work on Georeferencer and MapRank Search presented Vaclav Klusak. Afterwards, Petr Pridal spoke about the new open-source project TileServer and accessing map tiles using standard OGC WMTS.

presentations | oldmapsonline | georeferencer

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Blog archive

February 2023
“Prachtsatlanten” - a new g...

January 2023
OldMapsOnline - new version...

May 2022
Utrecht University - "Atlas...

January 2022
Swiss Maps Added to OldMaps...

June 2021
Zentralbibliothek Zürich - ...

October 2020
Successful pilot of Moravia...
4000 new maps in OldMapsOnline

December 2015
Georeferencer for TU Darmstadt

November 2015
OldMapsOnline.org in Intern...

August 2015
Georeferencer for Leiden Un...

July 2015
OldMapsOnline - new version...

June 2015
Georeferencer for State Lib...

March 2015
IIIF viewer at The National...

December 2014
Planned downtime: Saturday ...

October 2014
IIIF for images in cultural...

August 2014
Utrech University used our ...

March 2014
Impact video now available

November 2013
The British Library Georefe...
The Austrian National Libra...

September 2013
FOSS4G 2013: Old Maps Onlin...
Old Maps Online at the Inte...

April 2013
Preserved for posterity

January 2013
British Library: 3rd Georef...
Online reviews of Old Maps ...
Edinburgh Conference: Worki...

December 2012
Petr Přidal awarded Barthol...

November 2012
AHRC Digital Transformation...
Focus on the Collections: T...
Old Maps Online - so what?

October 2012
New crowd-sourced Geo-refer...
Focus on the collections: A...

July 2012
Google think we are cool ...
New article published about...
World History Association C...

June 2012
Google I/O conference 2012
"The best search service fo...
Presenting at Geoforum: Old...
JISC Programme Manager's visit
Presentation & Steering Gro...

May 2012
General project update May ...
LIBER Groupe des Cartothéca...
Showcased on Google Develop...

April 2012
Old Maps Online and Georefe...
Publicising Old Maps Online

March 2012
Meet us at ICA Digital Appr...
Review of Old Maps Online L...
Publicity for Old Maps Onli...
Site a bit more stable now
Best laid plans ...
British Library Geo-referen...

February 2012
Old Maps Online Launched
Course: Working Digitally w...
The British Library: Georef...
Progress towards Old Maps O...
Workshop: Working Digitally...
UK Archives Discovery Forum...

January 2012
Progress towards Old Maps O...
Free One Day Conference: Lo...

November 2011
New ‘Old Maps Online’ proje...

May 2011
National Archives of the Ne...

May 2010
NLS Maps API: historical ma...

January 2010
Meet us at the ICA CartoHer...
IIPImage JPEG2000: Free Sof...

October 2009
Workshop in Scotland (BCS M...

July 2009
Poster at ICHC 2009

June 2009
ELAG: Workflow for old maps...

May 2009
MapTiler: Desktop applicati...

December 2008
Meet us at ELAG 2009!

November 2008
Mashups and tiles a la Goog...

October 2008
MapAnalyst Online: Accuracy...

September 2008
Article: Tiles as an approa...

August 2008
Old Maps Search Interface -...

July 2008
Georeferencing Images by Co...
Introduction of OldMapsOnli...

June 2008
Image Server IIPImage now s...
OpenLayers support for Zoom...

May 2008
OldMapsOnline Project Started