After my earlier post on using Google Earth to map the past, I received an email from Tim Brixius pointing me to a new Google Earth layer that he has created marrying historical content with existing maps. This particular layer takes the content from a 1940 Guide to the Keystone State and projects it onto both a 1940 road map of the state and the current Google map (see below). Each of the pins in the map brings up a chunk of text from the Guide. Although Tim hasn’t done so here, he could just as easily include images from the 1940s if he had access to them. You can read more about his project in his blog or you can download the layer and play with it yourself. I particularly appreciate the nice touch of the little keystones in each of the pins in the Google Earth layer.
Tim’s project offers another very practical application of what I wrote about in my earlier post on this subject. I think it is fairly obvious how easily this sort of project could be adapted to teaching about the past. In fact, I’m now thinking that I may have to craft a Google Earth layer assignment for my fall classes…
The map overlay on Google Earth:
Detail from the map:
The same data, but on the Google Maps page:
An example of the text pulled up by clicking a pin: