1875.  Take another look. 

In 1875, Caroline County Surveyor John B. Isler published an offical map of the county “by an Act of Congress”.  Ten years ago, we found a ragged paper copy of the Isler map at the Denton public library, scanned it, and published the first ever Caroline County 1875 interactive web map.

There were problems.

The paper map measured 3 x 5 feet, and we were using a small desktop scanner – one small section at a time.  The map was badly creased and worn at the folds.  And it turns out that Mr. Isler was not that great of a surveyor or cartographer.  So things didn’t line up.  (They still don’t line up perfectly.  More about that another day.)

1875 re-stretched.

So we re-worked Isler.  This time we started with a high-resolution digital map from the Library of Congress Map Collection.

We used high-end geographic information system (GIS) software to digitally stretch (georeference or geo-rectify) the Isler map over today’s web map.

Try it out like this:

Zoom in and out.  Move around in the map.

Turn on “swipe” to compare 1875 and today.

Turn on the modern roads overlay or change the basemap to satellite imagery.

[ Doing this on your phone?  Or want to see it full screen?  Try the map here instead. ]

Explore Where You Are:  1670-2021

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Change was inevitable.  So was the map.

Change was inevitable. So was the map.

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1897 is a certified true copy of the original

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Before GPS, you watched for a crossroads up ahead

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Country roads: Sorry, no Google street view

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Downtown Federalsburg, 1875

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