OSM vs. Blockchain to Tell the Historical Mapping Story

Friday, 4:30 pm – 20 min
Jeremy Lechtzin

Services, applications and tools continue to be developed that map archival data to tell the history of people and places. Some US (and US-adjacent) examples: the trio of OldSF / OldNYC / Old Toronto geocode multiple archival photo sets from those cities to allow a map-based exploration of the imagery. 80s.nyc and Detroit’s Black Bottom Street View present block-by-block views using archival photos from one point in time, recreating a street view. The New York Public Library’s Space-Time Directory offers tools to geo-reference historical maps and other data like city directories.

All are useful ways to visualize the past, but each is limited by a lack of accessible historical land and street data.

This talk will explore ways in which OSM-based frameworks like Open Historical Map are best suited to solve the geocoding problems involved with demapped streets and renumbered buildings, and how other frameworks like blockchain should be integrated to solve the parcel data problems involved with historical land transfers.