Atlanta 1927-30 Topographic Maps with Open Street Map Overlay

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Click to open map

Editor’s note: This map comes to us from Jack Kittle. The base is the the 1928 Map but Jack has geo-referenced it and overlaid it on Open Street Map.

To build the 1927-30 topographic map tiles, each of the 82 printed sheets from the original set was scanned at the Geography and Maps Department of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.  The resulting jpeg files were georeferenced, reprojected to the ‘Web Mercator’ projection, clipped to remove the borders, mosaiced together into three jpg files and tiled for zoom levels 8 to 18.  This was done in three batches due to size issues.  The software used to perform these steps was Quantum GIS (Version 1.8). Finally, the three sets of tiles were merged using a custom piece of software that merged overlapping tiles.  This software is available upon request from me.

For the Open Street Map overlay, OSM data from April 4, 2013 for the state of Georgia was downloaded.  Next, data for the Atlanta area was excerpted using Osmosis.  Finally, map tiles were produced using Mapertive.

This workflow could be used to produce map tiles from any historical map.


Notes on 1927-30 Atlanta Topographic Map Copyright

The following information was obtained on a visit to the United States Copyright Office on the 4th floor of the Library of Congress Madison Building on 28 February 2013.

In the ‘Graphic Arts Claimant Catalog’ drawer 028 filed under ‘Atlanta, City of’ two cards as follows

  • 1in = 200ft (1:2400) Scale Maps of Atlanta – 50 sheets numbered 1-50
  • 1in = 1000ft (1:12000) Scale Maps of Atlanta Vicinity – 32 sheets numbered 51-88 with no numbers 62, 67, 68, 75, 82, 83

The applications were made and fees paid by S. P. Floore of Hobart St in Washington, DC.  He is noted on the maps as ‘Topographic Engineer in Charge’.  The cards give the record entries as F1868 and F1869.

I requested the ‘Copyright Ledger Book’ containing these two entries.  They are found in the ledger book titled ‘Maps – Class F – 1930 – Volume 2′.  The entries show a publication date of July 22, 1930 and a copyright registration date of September 2, 1930.  There is no indication of a copyright renewal.  Staff showed me where other a few other maps in the ledger book had renewals noted.  Apparently copyright for maps were not generally renewed as the maps were out of date after 28 years and had little commercial value.

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Trackless Trolley Map and Bus Lines circa 1950

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We can’t find a date on this map, but the Atlanta Transit Company operated between 1950 and 1972. Given the lack of interstates on the map, we can reasonably assume this is from the 1950s.

The “Shoppers Special” route is pretty interesting. It connected “widely separated points in the business district,” from the capitol to the intersection of Peachtree and 10th streets, or out Ponce de Leon Avenue to the Sears building.

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1906 Atlanta City Map

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The city of Atlanta ninety years before hosting the Centennial Olympic Games. One of the most striking things in this map is all the changes to street names.

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