Panoramic Maps

The Library of Congress has an online collection of panoramic maps — i.e., maps seen from a so-called “bird’s-eye view” rather than from directly above. I saw an awful lot of these in archives and libraries when I was doing historical research; I think just about every settlement of a certain size had one.

The panoramic map was a popular cartographic form used to depict U.S. and Canadian cities and towns during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Known also as bird’s-eye views, perspective maps, and aero views, panoramic maps are nonphotographic representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. Although not generally drawn to scale, they show street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features in perspective.

(via The Cartoonist)