Let’s talk about maps. The Dictionary has many kinds.

You will have noticed the maps that appear on entity pages that have geographic information.

Here’s an example.

Darlinghurst entity page, DoSThe blue shape shows the boundaries of the suburb, and is overlaid on a current Google map. You can zoom in or out, or even change the map to Satellite view to see an aerial shot.Do this by choosing from the dropdown menu in the top right corner of the map itself.Satellite view

The blue shape also corresponds with the area of Darlinghurst in our demographic series. In the middle of any suburb page, there’s a link to demographics, which opens our Census statistics site in another tab. That’s a tip for another day, but really worth looking at.
There are many more maps in the Dictionary than the suburbs, though. Many natural features, buildings, structures, and even events have maps with shapes, lines or points on them, putting their history into geographical context.
Then there are the historic and curated maps. To see these all together, click on the Maps browse on the front page of the Dictionary.
This growing collection of maps is something we are really proud of. Using the magic of geo-location, all of these maps can be layered over Google maps, showing the contrast between development at the time of the map’s publication, and the present. When you click through to a  map, you can make it transparent and zoom in, bringing the reality of urban change to life.
Marrickville 1894, from the Atlas of the Suburbs of Sydney

This map of Marrickville from 1894, for example, shows the changed course of the Cooks River, the relatively undeveloped West Ward, with most of Dulwich Hill still to be subdivided, and the havoc that the railway line about to be opened will cause to some existing streets.  There’s still a creek running into the river near what is now Ness Ave.

There are a couple of other interesting things we do with maps in the Dictionary.
Schools of Arts buildings across Sydney

The ‘curated map’ is one that we’ve added geographical information to, either to show change over time, like this map and timeline of Schools of Arts in Sydney.

 Move the timeline, and watch the points appear and disappear. They are time-dependent.
Alternatively, we might have added geographical information about something that you can’t see on the surface, like the route of Busby’s Bore, part of Sydney’s early water supply, in this map.
Google map, historic map, and route of Busby’s Bore

Here you can also see a map overlay from an 1854 map of the city of Sydney, clearly showing the Tunnel Reserve on the surface.

We are working on more maps for the next rebuild of the site, and we’d love to know what readers use the maps for, and what you’d be most interested in. All comments gratefully received.

Other posts in this series:

Finding your way through the Dictionary part 1 — Entities

Finding your way through the Dictionary part 2 — Images

Finding your way through the Dictionary part 3 — Maps

Finding your way through the Dictionary part 4 — Contributors

Finding your way through the Dictionary part 5 — Demographics

Finding your way through the Dictionary part 6 — Roles

Finding your way through the Dictionary part 7 — Subjects

Finding your way through the Dictionary part 8 — Bonus extras

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