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The crowd helps to unlock historical maps of the Caribbean

Leiden University Libraries (UBL) has started the Maps in the Crowd project. Nearly 1,100 digitized maps of the Caribbean will be unlocked with the help of visitors, students and others.

The project started on 2o March and will continue until May 2017. With the participation of the public we hope to improve the accessibility of digital map data for teaching and research.  

A special application has been developed to help participants connect the digitized historical maps, through the process of georeferencing, to a modern topographical map in Google Maps. It is quite straightforward: the historical map and its modern counterpart can be connected by designating five or more corresponding control points. The georeferenced map are then  showed as an overlay in Google Maps. Everyone who is interested is welcome to join our project. More information is available on the Maps in the Crowd blog.

The Caribbean Maps
The collection of Caribbean maps consists of printed and hand-drawn maps (some of them in more sheets) and some atlases from the sixteenth to twentieth century of Central America and the Caribbean in general and the Netherlands Antilles in particular. Much of this collection is part of the bequest of the nineteenth century map collector Johannes Tiberius Bodel Nijenhuis (1797-1872), complemented with maps from the collections of the Royal Institute for Southeast-Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).

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