Sunday, September 20, 2009

Interactive maps an aerial history lesson

Neighborhood in 2002

The Iowa Historical Society blog recently noted that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has an interactive map on the Web.

Those of us who have used Google maps for aerial views of certain locations might not be terribly impressed. However, there is a feature I haven't seen elsewhere. The DNR map not only has current (recent) aerial views, it also has aerial views from the 1950s and 1930s.

So, clicking on the appropriate checkbox allows a visitor to get a glimpse of a selected region 50-plus or 70-plus years ago. It also overlays current street locations, so it is easy to get one's bearings. So, for example, one can spot the oval horse track that once existed in today's Flora Park, the old ballpark along the Dubuque riverfront or the farmland that is today the subdivision where Madame X and I live.

I'm still learning more about using the site, and there are good instructions available, but one tip right away is to turn off your pop-up blocker for this site.


"Neighborhood" in 1950s

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