Posts Tagged ‘historical sites’

Locating the Site of H. H. Holmes’s “Murder Castle” in Fort Worth, Texas

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Fort Worth Map of Downtown, Circa 1885If you’ve ever tried to piece together the location of where some historical events occurred, you often will find that it’s very, very hard to do. I find myself doing this every so often, and each time I’ve thought that there is likely a large niche for a site which could attach timeline information to locations. There are often times when it would be useful (or interesting) to know what past events happened at a particular place, or to find the more precise locations for some notable historical event. Since there isn’t any central site for this sort of thing, people end up trudging around trying to find often-vague historical documents which mention the historical event, then try to match the historical locations up with current maps.

I found myself in this situation just this past week. I was half-watching Whitechapel, a crime mystery show set in England on BBCA, and the detectives had been in the home of a batty old woman who suffered from obsessive hoarding. Another character in the show was a sort of consultant for the police about historical crimes, and he’d mentioned a serial killer in America in the late 1800s, H. H. Holmes, who’d murdered potentially considerable quantities of people he’d lured into the hotel he operated, and the rooms were set up in some maze-like arrangement. Since Holmes was entirely unfamiliar to me, and since the whole story sounded so over-the-top, I figured it was fictional. But, not so! When I Googled this on my Android cellphone, I quickly discovered that there was indeed such a killer! (more…)

SepiaTown: Cool New Google Maps Mashup

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

SepiaTown - From Here To ThenSepiaTown (tagline: “From Here To Then”) is a cool Google Maps mashup that I recently ran across.

The service takes historical photos and maps them to their locations on a Google Map.

SepiaTown Example - Downtown San Francisco

The example screengrab above is from the historic Chinese Tung Food Company in downtown San Francisco, California.

The service is set up with a simple, “clean” feel, making it very easy to use.

I think that increasingly there will be instances of people taking various kinds of historical data like these vintage photograph images, and making more available through search engines and through Google Maps.

Imagine that it might be possible at some future point to click to slide some sort of tool in Google Maps which would move along a timeline, allowing one to only choose content from a particular, past timeframe.