A searchable digital archive of historical maps being developed by the New York Public Library, powered by individuals who just want to explore a bit of history.

The New York Public Library is developing a tool that lets the public take information archived on digitized historical maps, and use it to tag a searchable interface built with Open Street Map. The Map Rectifier tool first overlays these historical maps onto the open, modern-day map, drawing from the library's expansive map database that includes everything from maps of building types for fire insurance purposes to agricultural maps of droughts. Users are then able to go into the overlay, and match markings on the original cartographer's key (see an example key below) with buildings or areas on the digital map, indicated through a simple digital drawing tool that associates drawn shapes with user-inputted attributes.

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