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 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 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 - © 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 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:

georeferencer | customers 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: 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:

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 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


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

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 (, 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:

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:

Source codes are available on GitHub:

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: 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:

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: 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:

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:

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: 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:

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: and all presentations are available in the slideshow on YouTube: 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

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

Old Maps Online at the International Cartographic Conference

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Despite the funding from Jisc finishing in January this year we are still working to promote the project. Petr Přidal of Klokan Technologies recently presented a poster at the International Cartographic Conference, which this year was held in Dresden, Germany from the 25th -30th August. The poster presentation focused on the Old Maps Online project as a search system tailored to work with historical maps in a spatial way, something traditional search engines struggle with, and how implementing Georeferencer as a means to turn scanned maps into digital resources which are easy to find using crowd-sourcing helped various national libraries contribute their maps to the Old Maps Online system.

ICC | Georeferencer

Preserved for posterity

Monday, April 22, 2013

Old Maps Online has been included on a list of 100 websites considered important enough to preserve for future generations. Experts from a consortium of UK national libraries chose 100 Websites which they consider will be essential reading for those looking back at 2013. An archive of these UK based websites will be created using new powers the libraries have been given to preserve digital content.

The eclectic mix of sites on the list range from social media such as facbook and ebay, via online shopping from high street stores to housing and public interest sites such as OpenStreetMap and Galaxy Zoo. Old Maps Online is described as:

"...revolutionising the way in which we conduct historical research and will be invaluable for future researchers wishing to dive through layers of history geographically"

The project team is immensely proud to have been included in this list.

British Library: 3rd Georeferencer pilot announced

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Using Georeferencer software from Klokan technologies, another 800 items have been selected for the Georeferencer Project from the British Library’s collection of over 4.5 million maps. The last time the British Library undertook such a project 708 maps were completed in less than one week.

”It’s easy to use and highly addictive – and a fascinating way to explore the past while improving the information that underpins our digitised collections. This project brings together people’s passion for maps and history with the latest online crowdsourcing tools,” says Kimberly Kowal, Lead Curator of Digital Mapping at the British Library.

As a result of these previous successful rounds of public crowdsourcing, those maps are now spatially enabled, allowing users to search and navigate maps online. Maps from previous rounds are accessible through the Library’s Old Maps Online portal developed by Klokan Technologies.

georeferencer | customers | projects

Online reviews of Old Maps Online

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

After nearly a whole year of Old Maps Online being live we thought we'd do a quick review of blog comments mentioning the site which have been posted since the initial flurry of interest following the launch. Below are a selection of what we found people have said about actually using the site.

1st March 2012, Brownhillsbob's Brownhills Blog
"Here’s a great one... It’s a new site for old maps – it’s got lots of great material, including Ordnance Survey popular and inter-war editions, and the resolution and working area are great too, often a bit of a limitation on such services. Best of all, it’s absolutely free of charge to use."

30th March 2012, Latest Web Crunch
"The 3 Best Places To Find Free Historical Maps Online: [1] Old Maps Online. This website has been recently designed. If you want to search for any information related to maps, check out this website. It combines map data with an excellent technology and offers brilliant results."

9th April 2012, Genealogy
"This mapping site is really neat, serving as an easy-to-use searchable gateway to historical maps hosted online by repositories around the world. Search by place-name or by clicking in the map window to bring up a list of available historical maps for that area, and then narrow further by date if needed. The search results take you directly to the map image on the website of the host institution."

13th August 2012, The Cambridge Room
"For those of you who love historical maps, there is a new database called Old Maps Online, that allows free access to maps in libraries around the world. Described by its creators as like Google for old maps, Old Maps Online is a central repository to a vast collection of maps across the globe."

23rd September 2012, Genealogy's Star
"If you want to see more of what is available, then you should take a look at Old Maps Online. This site allows the user to search for online digital historical maps across numerous different collections via a geographical search."

"The David Rumsey Map Collection has a whole bunch of historical maps. Using the Old Maps Online index, which I searched for maps of SF, 1910-1915, I found this "Chevalier" map from 1911. … The nice thing about the Old Maps Online index is that you can restrict by date as  well as by location. It seems better than the built-in search and browsing feature on the David Rumsey site; when I had searched 
there initially, I didn't see anything immediately promising."

6th December 2012, Andrew Zolnai Blog
"Maps are forever... or they are Man's best friend. I'm a big fan of the British Library ... - has an amazing array of old maps, which they just finished georeferencing through a significant effort in crowd-sourcing … These maps are now linked to Old Maps Online of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project at University of Portsmouth UK. And being an amateur medievalist* myself, I set the time slider atop the page to between 1000 and 1725, and presto! up comes a 1610 map of "Cambridgshire..."

7th December 2012, Clark Library Blog
"Because it pools the resources of many of the world’s premiere map collections, a visit to the Old Maps Online portal is like taking a trip to many libraries at once, all with a few clicks of a mouse. It may be the place to turn for that hard-to-find map you’re searching for."
Vienna detail from 'Viennense Territorium
ob Res Bellicas inter Christianos et Turcas
Nuperrime E...' by Nicolaum Visscher,
[1685-1700] from the Moravian Library

10th January 2013, Border Telegraph 
(by Peter Munro, one of our speakers in Edinburgh) 
"The website provides an easy to use method of finding places and 
even streets around the world without having to know the name of 
the map, the name of the cartographer and the name of the library 
that holds the map. The maps can also be searched in foreign 
languages and that's useful for us in accessing foreign maps. I've 
managed to find streets and places in Romania and Austria on old 
maps that aren't mentioned on current maps and that living people 
hadn't heard of."

The good news is that people are still discovering us, liking our site and, perhaps most importantly, finding maps they want to see. With the impending addition of a number of new map collections which will increase the choice of maps we link to we can reasonably hope this trend will continue.

Edinburgh Conference: Working Digitally with Historical Maps

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Firstly we'd like to wish all our readers a Happy New Year. Secondly below you will find a summary of the proceedings of the one day conference organised by the Old Maps Online team which was held at the end of 2012.

In December we journeyed north to Edinburgh to hold our second conference on Working Digitally with Historical Maps at the National Library of Scotland. People from a variety of different backgrounds attended, ranging from those already working on innovative ways to use digital historical maps, through those who have digital maps and wanted inspiration on what they could do with them to those just beginning to have an interest who wanted to see what is currently available.

The day was broken in gently at 10am with coffee and an introductory welcome. This was followed by Petr Pridal giving the key note presentation detailing the improved functionality and searching and much extended content of our own Old Maps Online site (we'll let you know when these changes have actually gone live).

Following that Session 1 looked at using technology to map
Detail from Nairn and Elgin, W. Johnson, 1832.
(c) Cartography Associates
history. It started with two staff from the National Library of Scotland, Chris Fleet who detailed the improvements made to their online mapping and catalogue which make it even easier to use and search their collection, whilst Alice Heywood showed us a Moray community project where local people recorded their views on interesting places around Elgin available to visitors through a mobile app. Another mobile app was described by Chris Speed from the Edinburgh College of Art which allows users to download historical maps to compare with their modern day location through the "blue dot" location marker. Peter Munro finished off the first session by describing how the Borders Family History Society have been digitising historical personal records and then mapping addresses from them to show sometimes surprising distribution results of those receiving poor relief. Just before we stopped for lunch there was the presentation of the Bartholomew Globe to Petr Pridal by Bruce Gittings of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, you can read more details about this in our last blog post.

Detail from Scotland SE, E. Stanford , 1901.
 (c) Cartography Associates
Session 2 introduced the concept of visualising spaces, places and routes between them. Richard Rodger of the University of Edinburgh described and demonstrated the function of the tools created as part of the visualising urban geographies project which help those studying history understand the spatial element. Bruce Gittings (also University of Edinburgh) then presented the work of one of his Msc students, Michal Michalski, which combined a range of different data to depict a multi-disciplinary view of historical Perth. Then came two presentations about mapping route ways. David Simpson spoke about his work on digitising the roads drawn on maps of the highlands created by William Roy as a mid eighteenth century Military Survey of Scotland and their accuracy. Neil Ramsay followed with a presentation about mapping paths from old maps onto modern maps online and encouraging people to go out and explore and enjoy these paths.  The final presentation in this session saw Andrew Janes of The National Archives talking about the newly launched BombSight website, another JISC funded project, which maps the locations of bombs dropped in London during part of the Blitz and will feature a mobile app to link this to your location on the ground. Humphrey Southall then demonstrated the website's functionality.

Name detail on the Eye Peninsula of Lewis
in the Outer Hebrides from the OS of
Scotland, Popular Edition, Stornoway, 1925,
 from A Vision of Britain through Time
After a fortifying tea and biscuit break we entered the third and final session focused on using place-names and gazetteers. Ashley Beamer (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland) spoke about ScotlandsPlaces, their website which brings together place-based datasets from three different partners and which is currently being expanded. Jake King from Ainmean Aite na h-Alba (also known as 'Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland' if, like me, you don't speak Gaelic) spoke about work to extract changing historical place-names from old maps and ways of using a modern map to facilitate access to those historical maps. Another dual presentation by Kirsty Stewart from the University of Edinburgh Library and Neil Mayo from Edina followed as they spoke about a project to digitise the Alexander Carmichael archive and collection and the current phrase to link items within them to places. Paul Ell presented the final paper of the day on the plans of the Digital Exposure of English Place-Names project (also JISC funded) to produce a digital gazetteer using data on variant place names collected by the Survey of English Place Names over the past 80 years.  We then ended the day with a quick thank-you to everyone, especially the speakers. Although we didn't get chance to have a wrap-up discussion as intended, there were many interesting points raised in the questions and comments following each presentation which left us all with plenty to think about.

We'd like to say a big thank-you to everyone for taking the time to come to the conference, as despite being held in the run up to Christmas it was well attended.  Everyone I spoke to during and after the day seemed to enjoy it. We have created a webpage about the conference, it gives the names of the speakers, titles, abstracts and website addresses for all papers plus downloadable PDF copies of both the programme and abstracts.

There is now also a similar page giving information about the previous Working Digitally with Historical Maps conference held in February 2012 at the New York Public Library which launched the initial Old Maps Online website, see here.

digital mapping | open access | presentation

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Blog archive

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

December 2015
Georeferencer for TU Darmstadt

November 2015 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