Travel back in time with Street View and map archives | MarketingwithAnoy

The tools and Technology used to map our world is constantly improving, and we take it for granted that we can see every part of the globe in detail through our phone or laptop screen.

As more data is collected and digitized, another possibility opens up: to be able to take a step back in time – whether it’s a year or a hundred years – to see what a place looked like in the past.

Whether you are researching the proliferation of urban sprawl or you just want to know what your street looked like before the turn of the millennium, these are three key resources you should use.

Google Street View

Google has built up many years of Street View imagery.

Google via David Nield

You may be used to checking out addresses and locations via Google Street View, but did you know that you can use it to go back in time? Obviously, you are limited by the dates that Google actually has Street View images for, but this now goes decades back in some areas. What’s more, you can now access historical photos on both the web and Google Maps mobile apps.

To find them Google Maps online, drag the stick from the bottom right corner of the map interface to any location on the map (the roads that have Street View images will be highlighted in blue as you drag). When you drop the stick man, you will see the latest pictures at street level for that place.

Look in the upper left corner: A small clock symbol next to the shooting date means you can travel back in time. Click on the date to see your options, presented in the form of a timeline slider, then drag back and forth to see the images from the available dates in the preview window. To get a full look, click on the magnifying glass or the images themselves.

Open Google Maps on Android or iOS and you will find the same functionality so you can see how areas have evolved over time. Here, tap and hold on a road, then tap the Dropped Pin map at the bottom to get to Street View. Once you have loaded it in full screen, opening the map again will give you a See more dates link if older photos are available.

Old cards online

Old Maps Online links to a wide range of other resources.

Old maps online via David Nield

There are a number of different map archive portals on the web, however Old cards online is one of the most comprehensive and a good starting point no matter where or when you are looking for. To get started, click Find a place or select Browse old maps to see what’s available for your location.

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