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Historical Maps of Toronto

Historical Maps of Toronto - Bird’s Eye View Chromolithograph
Explore Toronto’s past through Historical Maps

Historical maps of Toronto - Map of York 1812Historical Maps can be a great resource to help people learn more about certain geography at a particular point in time, help locate where our ancestors lived, or help us understand how a neighborhood or surrounding area changed over time. Because older maps were created by hand, they tend to be more artistic and visually appealing and thus can be attention grabbers.

Historical Maps have existed in libraries & various personal collections for years but thanks to advancement in digital technology and the internet, we have started to see more old maps being shared in the geospatial community.

The Historical Maps of Toronto blog created by historical maps enthusiast Nathan Ng provides simple and free access to a large selection of notable historical maps of the Toronto area that have been scanned from collections at the Toronto Library and the Toronto archives.  He started the site as a way to generate more curiosity for geography, and as a way to provide an easy entry point for people to discovery and further investigate historical cartography.

Maps on the site generally have public domain status (except where otherwise noted) and can be downloaded, printed and shared.

Some of the maps in the collection include:

Plus many more, click here for a full list of Historical Maps of Toronto maps available

Online Toronto Historic Maps comparison tool

Are you a resident of the Greater Toronto area and want to know what your community looked like 50 years ago?

Well Nathan Ng has also taken his blog a step further by teaming up with Esri to create the Online Toronto Historic Maps comparison toolThis free web application provides people with the ability to compare different places in Toronto through time from 2013 back to 1818.

Historical  paper maps from the Toronto Library and the Toronto archives were scanned, georeferenced, mosaiked and then combined so that people could compare them with one another using a simple easy to use interface that anyone could use.

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Canadian Pirate maps

Canadian Pirate maps - custom Pirate map of PEI

Where does one look when they want to find Canadian Pirate Maps?

Pirate maps are often hand drawn spatial representation on paper that mark locaions of buried treasues or important landmarks. Pirate maps ussually appear rough or tattered from being passed through time or simply being used in the rough elements, like on salt spray on the deck of a pirate ship. Most kids are familiar with pirate maps thanks to great works of fiction like “Treasure Island” and the legends of “Captain Kidd”, and theses days most kids most can relate pirates to thanks to Disney.

Canadian Pirate Maps

Now to be quite honest we do not actually have any real Canadian Pirate maps to share (although am sure that some exist, like maps the Oak Island treasure) but instead we have an online web mapping application to share that uses regular Google web maps but makes it appear to like pirate maps (like the map of Prince Edward Island above).

This mapping application operates just like regular Google maps, with the same navigational tools but instead adds a filter to the map to make it appear more rustic and adds some pirate themed symbology. You can navigate or search for any place in Canada and create a custom fun map that looks like a pirate map.

“Yarr, Pirate Maps is the greatest invenshun since iBones. It’s just like usin’ real google maps, but better – ‘cos everythin’ is all piratey and mappy.” yarrmaps.com

Now it may not be the most useful web mapping application, but it is always great to find ones this that helps make maps more fun.  Give it a try for your self …

 

 

Free QGIS Tutorial

Free QGIS Tutorial

Free QGIS Tutorial

One of the more popular desktop geographic information system (GIS) software packages available these days happens to be the free open source software, called QGIS.

QGIS is a user friendly Open Source GIS licensed under the General Public License (GNU). QGIS provides a number of capabilities allowing you to manage, edit, visualize, analyse and create maps. The first step to making your own maps is to get all of the data that you will need, click here to download Canadian data.Free QGIS Tutorial

Below are some free tutorials to help you get started using QGIS.

First, download & install QGIS for free

  1. The Basics of QGIS
  2. Managing Your Data
  3. Adding Labels to Maps
  4. Adding Style to Maps
  5. Printing Maps
  6. Attaching Photos to Maps
  7. Useful Plugins

 

 


Nova Scotia Online Maps & Mapping Resources

Data is a vital role in geomatics related projects and for many years we have been helping people find Canadian data resources. Here you will find a large list of Nova Scotia Mapping Resources …

Download Google Earth Pro for Free

Google Earth, a virtual 3D mapping and geographical information software provided free by Google has been one of the key elements over the past few years that has helped people become more aware of the geomatics industry. Until now users had to pay a fee to use the Pro version, but now users will be able to use Google Earth Pro for free …

How to use OpenSteetMaps

How to use OpenSteetMap?

Free OpenStreetMap User GuideFor people exploring various places in the neighborhood, it is similar maps as other online map information with zoom and pan, but the real power of OpenStreetMap rests in the hands of developers who can access all the data behind the maps for customizing to their own. What it means that, with OpenStreetMap, you can not only view various spatial locations, but add also your own custom locations and information  to the database which can then be used by other users. All you need to do is to query the map database in any one of various possible ways, thereby extracting information which can later be used to create custom maps. The output of a database query is an XML file with various description of information about local areas, directions, routes, etc. Using all this information, it will be easier to create custom based maps.

With over a million contributors, most of them use GPS units in performing ground surveys. On collecting the data, the information needs to be uploaded into the system using the project website. Once the data is added, they need to be edited to make it user friendly and at this point, all the above mentioned software plays the role. Even though GPS units are needed to add a data for the first time, the subsequent editions of data do not require any additional hardware, making it possible for anyone who have the local knowledge to update the information. The majority of the new information has been added by dedicated contributors while millions of other users simply update the maps. For users who wish to view the map tiles, they can do so with the help of web browsers, GNOME maps and Marble. The only requirement for adding data to the maps is to sign up for a free account.

Data Formats:

OpenStreetMap represents physical structures in the ground using tags that are attached to various data structures such as nodes, ways and relations. Nodes are simply the coordinates of the geographic position which represent the exact location. They use both latitude and longitude values for data representation. A collection of nodes can be called as ways which represent various polygonal areas such as streets and roads, parks and lakes, etc. Relations are the combination of both nodes and ways which can represent restriction present in roads, various ways for a route etc. All the above said information are stored in the map in the form of tags. Any attribute present in the map can be tagged for information, thereby helping anyone wanting information. Considering all the factors, OpenStreetMap was already popular, but is gaining even more popularity everyday with number of contributors growing to new heights. All the information provided in this article gives you an overview of what is OpenStreetMap, but there are lots to explore with respect to its features and supplements.

And if you are more interested about this wonderful mapping experience, don’t miss out attending the annual conference of the OSM community named, State of Map Conference. All new ideas related to the maps are discussed here, along with launching updates and new contents.

Also check out some of these OpenStreetMap & Open Data related Topics:


Success Recipe of OpenStreetMap

There are various reasons for the success of OpenStreetMap and the major one is the granularity that it provides with respect to information and analysis. Since OpenStreetMap is a crowd-sourced map, it shows information at a granular level, thus helping all services and businesses in reaching out to people.

Success Recipe of OpenStreetMap

Moreover, since OpenStreetMap is open to anyone for editing and updating their location, all information is updated as and when changes happen. This makes it possible to find any place, anywhere across the globe. One major factor helping the maps evolve is the locale of the developers and their intimacy to the area they live. Since all information about location is updated by the locals themselves, the details are accurate, clear and precise.OpenStreetMap Toronto

The second major reason for the success of OpenStreetMap is the flexibility it offers to both the developers and common people in rendering and finding information. For example, Google controls whatever you do with Google Maps and therefore it can restrict any information it considers as inappropriate, even though the information may be from legitimate sources. This is where OpenStreetMap has tasted success over the years.

There is complete flexibility in the way information is shared and updated in the maps, thereby giving you full access and control to show whatever you want. Moreover, with OpenStreetMap, developers can build custom based maps, making it reflect the theme of business. Even though this flexibility may cost, vandalism of the system, no major reports have been filed till date.

So even though there are a couple of cons, using the maps, the advantages overrun the drawbacks. Also, the fact that all the services offered by OpenStreetMap are free of cost as everyone of you using the maps is considered the owners of the maps, you need not spend any bucks to showcase your location.

But don’t just take our words for it, if you really love mapping then you should be checking out OpenStreetMap for yourself. After all it is free so you have nothing to lose and so much to gain … http://www.openstreetmap.org is the official OpenStreetMap  website.

Also check out some of these OpenStreetMap & Open Data related Topics:

Ontario’s Renewable Energy Atlas and Maps

Ontario Renewable Energy Atlas

The Renewable Energy Atlas was created to assist citizens be able to better recognize areas of Ontario’s potential renewable energy and provide better information. Unlike some other Provincial Wind Atlas collections, the Ontario Atlas is an interactive web application providing users to ability to create and view custom maps of wind and water energy resources from high level overviews to more detailed information. Various prepared wind & potential renewable energy maps are also available for immediate viewing and download.


Other Wind Maps & Resources


City of Saint John Maps, Plans and Historical Data

The Saint John Historical Maps collection includes an interactive atlas from 1875, compiled from official hand drawn plans and surveys. You will also find an interactive map of Historic Coastline and Fortifications and scanned copies of Murdoch-Lingley Survey Plans from 1920. Find out how you can download and use maps and images from the Saint John Historical Maps collection …

Thompson’s 1826 Map of Northwestern North America

I recently returned from giving a presentation at Carto2013; an annual Canadian cartographic themed conference that was held at the University of Alberta co-hosted by the Canadian Cartographic Association (CCA) & the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA).

One of the key themes evident at the conference was related to history of cartography and history through maps”, a topic that many of the presentations were related to and several of these talks were about 1826 maps of Northwestern North America created by David Thompson. I myself have never really had much interest in history however these presentations provided me with a much different perspective on history and maybe I have found myself a new (or old??) to explore. Yesterday while searching for some Canadian maps with my daughter I stumbled across yet some more historic themed cartography, so I thought perhaps we should start a new section on CanadianGIS.com related to Historic Cartography since it is pretty evident that this is becoming topic of interest to many in the Canadian Geomatics community.

Find out more about Canadian Geographic Maps & Thompson’s 1826 Map of Northwestern North America …

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