A Time Traveler’s Guide to the History of Maps
Chronoscope World is a time machine to explore the history of the world by browsing maps dating back to 14th century B.C. More than 6,700 high-resolution maps can be displayed in a maps browser app on the correct geo location.
Ahoy! Coverage for Hamburg is extremely high, as Chronoscope World is based on Chronoscope Hamburg. More than 660 vintage maps are available to explore urban history: from Hammaburg and the history of the harbour to the big fire of 1842 and the flooding of 1962.
Chronoscope Demo (5 minutes)
User interface language is either English or German; it conforms to the browser language settings.
The toolbars are placed around the window or screen. The tools are context sesitive, i.e. only applicable commands are visible, while others are temporarily hidden.
Mobile devices have a modified layout: For better usability, the selection toolbar is located at the bottom edge of the screen. Search is available at the top left corner.
Hover the icons for a short descripton – right here, or in the Chronoscope above.
You can try out anything in the frame above.
Year: Map title
More info and examples:
Keyboard shortcuts are Q and W or Page Up and Page Down respectiveley.
IIIF – triple aye eff – is the International Image Interoperability Framework. It is an open format to deliver high resolution images from libraries and archives.
Almost all of Chronoscope’s maps are provided by libraries and archives from all over the world under free license.
Keyboard shortcuts are available for many commands. For instance L enables Map Outlines and Filters. The tool tip tells which key is assigned to a command.
Macintosh’s Alt modifier is mapped to Right Shift on Windows.
…opens thumbnails of selected city maps.
Switching between the years to explore the urban development
The gem links to a CityTour though cities with maps in Chronoscope World
Clicking a year that is already selected zooms the map to its home position.
Use keys 1 2 3 … 7 for rapid switching between years.
The Hamburger shows or hides the view toolbar on mobile devices.
Open this guide
A dark background is recommended to inspect map outlines.
Add relief to mountains and the seas
Show markers for old photos, world heritage sites and ChronoMedia links
Time pendulum to loop between old map and modern map
Hide & show old map
Map and view constellations are stored in your local browser memory; hence the stars are still available when you relaunch the Chronoscope in the future.
Use Shift Click to remove a star.
Use Alt Click to overwrite a star.
The best way to switch to the previous map is the key combination B B. The first B open the map table with the recent maps – the second B selects the second map.
The ChronoCursor can be put anywhere on the map. It marks the position where the Chronoscope opens for shared ChronoLinks.
The browser address field is always up-to-date.
Click the ChronoCursor to open the Victoria menu
Victoria menu with ChronoApps
The menu offers more info on the map and several links to other geo services. The presented ChronoApps depend on on the current location, the zoom level and view options.
The table of maps is used to display a set of thumbnails and to select a high-resolution map.
The Table of Maps at Chronoscope World
The Table of Maps is used in different situations:
Some maps are taken from an IIIF book that can entireley be opened as a table of maps.
Click a thumbnail to open the map or page.
Close the table of maps with the x button in the top right corner or by pressing key X
You can navigate the table of maps with the keyboards. Use Space or ShiftSpace to scroll down or up. Use the arrow keys to move the selection. Return opens the selected map. X closes the table of maps with out opening a new map. (Caveat: The Chronoscope needs the window focus to properly respond to the keyboad. Click anywhere into the Chronoscope above to try the keyboard navigation now.)
Some table of maps can be sorted by time or title. Some table of maps offer a dice to quickly present a fresh set of maps:
…activates a mode with outlines for all maps. Maps can be filtered by several criteria.
Map outlines and filter controls
Each outline has a little label on top. It indicates the library and the year of the map. Hover the label to open a preview panel. Click the preview to open the map.
At the Outline & Filter mode you can set the time frame and scale range for the maps. Thick clusters of overlapping outlines become clear and show just the maps that are of interest for your research topic. The limits and filter settings will also be used for searching maps.
The signature filter limits the maps to single libraries or archives. The current map provides a default value; for instance HL is the signature for maps provided by Harvard Libray.
The Dark mode provides the best contrast between map outlines and the background map.
The standard bahaviour of Chronoscope World is to display one map only. That means that a previous map will be removed as soon as a new map is opened. Some maps are distributed among several sheets. Therefore it makes sense to display all sheets at once.
Open all map segments together
Each map can be activated with a click.
Here is another example with even more overlaping sheets. Let’s jump to Bretagne
Now, please open all map segmants.
Use Alt-Click to send a map to the back.
The keys < und > activate one map after the other.
Multi-segment maps are removed if another map will be opened.
You can prevent the automatic removal of maps with a pin. This enables the option to compare any set of maps with each other.
A pinned map will not be removed automatically.
Use Shift P to pin all visible maps.
Use Alt P to remove all pins.
An active map can also be removed with key DEL
Let me know which areas should be covered in further details. Possible chapters are:
Chronoscope World is the core module of the Chrono Research Lab.
You can support Chronoscope Hamburg and Chronoscope World by sharing ChronoLinks relentlesly. Historical insights have been shared on twitter at chronohh. But meanwhile the band plays on on Mastodon at Chrono Matthias
The Chrono Research Lab is an independant and free time-traveling service by Matthias Müller-Prove. However, some expenses are not really covered. Luckily, the human society has invented real money to to by me a virtual coffee:
But now: Please fasten your seat belts. Let’s travel through space and time with Chronoscope World: