The Chronoscope: Time Travel with Maps
April 12, 2023 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Chronoscope World is a time machine to explore the history of the world by browsing maps dating back to 14th century B.C. More than 4,200 high-resolution maps can be displayed in a maps application on the correct geo location. You can just browse the world map or browse cities of the world.
Here's San Francisco with 4 historical maps overlaid on the current city.
Here’s Amsterdam with 10 historical maps. Hint: The slider on the right controls the transparency of the overlaid map.
The site also includes special projects such as mapping the travels of Alexander Humboldt
Want an overview? The site's creator made a short video.
posted by vacapinta (7 comments total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
This looks fascinating and I'm going to enjoy exploring it.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 10:26 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]

This is fantastic! Really enjoying exploring my local area in 1709.

Being able to compare directly with the modern map makes it particularly interesting. I'm startled to see how much the spelling of most of the place names around here has changed in three centuries - letters added, letters taken away, vowels swapped about - and finding names on the old map that don't exist at all on the current one is sending me down all sorts of interesting rabbit-holes. For instance, the fortified manor house of Dent-de-Lion.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 10:30 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]

Yes, one of the most directly useful ways to use it is to press the broken rectangle on the upper left and see outlines of ALL the maps in a given region. This isn't just for cities.

The creator is active on Mastodon and is constantly adding new maps.
posted by vacapinta at 10:47 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]

fuck yeah old maps yes
posted by wellifyouinsist at 4:09 PM on April 12

Another take on maps and time travel: isochronal maps, like Chronotrains. Those show how far you can go in a given time, or, for example, which spots will offer a better commute.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:29 PM on April 12

I found something similar for the UK some years ago courtesy of the National Library of Scotland.
posted by Acey at 8:25 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]

For another old map deep dive, Rumsey Historical Map Collection.
posted by cosmologinaut at 9:29 AM on April 14

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