OpenStreetMap for the past is an idea that’s finally having its moment: The burgeoning Open Historical Maps community is starting to use the OpenStreetMap stack to map various places from the past, while we at The New York Public Library are building a system - The NYC Space/Time Directory - to look back and explore centuries of New York City’s history through the lens of old maps.
What if we collected changes to OpenStreetMap data, expressed it as navigable, historical map data, and stored it in libraries for the long haul? And what if we harvested mountains of great historical map data from old maps and documents, then ported that data into Historical OpenStreetMap? Can we see a future where these two data streams merge?
Come learn about the approaches we’re taking to: rebuild historical New York through datamining old maps, old city directories, old newspapers, and other materials; the toolchain we’re developing, a kind of metaphorical time loom for weaving together the city’s spatial history; and how you can join the team and contribute to this community built resource.