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See the Changes in D.C. Streets by Superimposing Old Maps

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Old maps are excellent tools for viewing places as they used to be (because clearly Brookland and Petworth don't look like this anymore). Now these old maps of D.C. are even more useful because U.S. Geological Survey has found a way to make the change in D.C.'s streets into a more visually accessible experience. That is to say, now you don't have to look at old maps and try to triangulate current landmarks on streets that may not exist anymore. USGS has not only made a bunch of old maps dating back to the mid-1800s available on their website, but they've offered a tool to let users superimpose the maps on each other. As such, it becomes much clearer where streets used to be in 1900 or 1948 and whether they have since moved. We've played around a bit with the tool and have some superimposed street maps (as well as the full originals) after the jump. Check it out and then try it out.

· Track a Century of U.S. Development With a Tool That Centralizes Old Maps [CityLab]
· USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer [USGS]