Great Geo Guessing Game

GeoGuessr is a cool geography game that uses Google Street View.  The game randomly places you all around the world, and you get points for clicking on the map as close as you can to the place you’re viewing.  Sometimes you get lucky and know where you are based on some famous landmark, but very often you have to try to figure it out based on subtle clues in the scenery, roads, signs, people, flora and fauna.  So far, my personal best is just over 13,000 points in one round — how high can you score?

Boston Marathon Bombing: Map showing the Location and Time-stamp of the Surveillance Video of the Suspects

See video here The Boston Marathon Bombing was a cowardly act, and we all want to see justice served to those responsible. Now that the FBI has released details of the bombing suspects, I decided to create a map that shows the likely location and timing of the of the surveillance video of the suspects, in hopes that somebody who was nearby at the time may have noticed them. If you have any information at all regarding the men shown in the attached photos and video, you should immediately submit them onhttps://bostonmarathontips.fbi.gov. As the FBI website states, no piece of information or detail is too … Read more

All Our Ideas website takes crowdsourcing of ideas to the next level

Create a question, Collaborate with others, Discover the best ideas.  All Our Ideas is crowdsourcing of ideas taken to the next level:  its a website that enables groups to collect and prioritize ideas in a transparent, democratic, and bottom-up way. It’s a suggestion box for the digital age. A research project led by the Sociology Department at Princeton University, All Our Ideas is a free, open-source, platform that businesses, associations, or other informal groups could put to good use. Thanks to Keir Clarke from Google Maps Mania for pointing out the Beautiful Streets project which is a project inspired by All … Read more

What do courthouses, cemeteries, churches, and libraries have in common?

Well, for the genealogist and historical researcher, they’re all great places to look for historical sources and information on ancestors, historical figures, or the local area.  And they’ve recently been incorporated into my Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps tool!  Just check the “Show Research Locations” checkbox and then select which categories you want to show, and symbols will appear on the map: Then, you can click an icon, and an info window will appear: The name of the place and the Website are both hyperlinks, which will open up a Google Places page for more information on the place: I’ve … Read more

New and more interactive version of the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps tool released!

Check out the new and more interactive version of the Historical US County Boundary Maps tool! Here’s a quick run-down on what’s new: Show me the answer now please!  Now, when you type a Place and a Year* and click the Go button, you will be zoomed to that place and an information panel will automatically appear above the map, as highlighted here: I want the details.  The information panel above the map shows the year, county name, full place name, and details about the latest evolution of your county of interest’s boundaries as of the year you chose.  Source … Read more

Are you sure you’re looking in the right county for those records?

When doing genealogical or historical research, it’s helpful (if not essential) to know what counties to search for the timeframe you’re interested in.  And as we all know, boundaries shift over time.  So you may think you know what counties to search, but is there a chance you’re missing something? Take a look at this example.  Let’s assume you’re looking for records for your homesteading ancestors who settled in the region between Albuquerque, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This animation shows the boundaries by decade from 1850 to 1950.  Those county boundaries were anything but stable.  Take for … Read more

Historical World Boundary Maps back to 2000 BC!

This is an update to my original post here. The Historical World Boundary Maps tool has been updated to include boundaries from 2000 BC to 2008 AD. Just type in a PRESENT-day city and country, and a HISTORICAL year, and click Go!  The boundaries will appear, and you can then click the map to see what the name of the country, empire, or kingdom was at that location for the year you typed. Note:  The information for all years prior to 1946 includes very generalized boundaries, very rough timeframes for the boundaries, and includes some errors and omissions. As such, the information … Read more

First U.S. Counties…now The World!

Please see an update to this post here. It’s great to see that so many people are getting good use from the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps interactive tool on this blog.  (There’s a write-up on the tool here.) A number of people have requested historical World country boundary maps as well, so I’ve built another interactive map tool for that:  Historical World Boundary Maps UPDATE: The Historical World Boundary Maps tool has been updated to include boundaries from 2000 BC to 2008 AD. Just type in a PRESENT-day city and country, and a HISTORICAL year, and click Go! The … Read more

New and simple online tool uses Google Maps to show historical county boundaries

THIS POST CONTAINS UPDATES FROM 06 JUN 2011: Thanks so much for all of the interest in this tool, and for your positive comments and constructive feedback!  I’ve incorporated several enhancements into the current version. We all know the importance of county governments for maintaining various types of records that are useful for genealogical research.  But how often have you tried searching for an ancestor’s historical records for a given county, only to realize that you were searching in the right place but the wrong county?  In fact, according to John H. Long, the director of the Atlas of Historical … Read more