maps

22 Jul 2014

Ethnic America Mapped

Edit: Thanks to a sharp-eyed reader, the correct map now accompanies this post.

Ethnic America Mapped is the subject of today’s post, courtesy of the Washington Post. Frequent readers of Sassy Jane Genealogy know that I recommend the research insights to be gained from combining data with mapping. This interesting map shows which ancestries make up the largest population in each of the country’s 3,144 counties, showing that the history of settlement of the United States by various ethnicities is still evident today.

The Washington Post notes:

Some highlights to note: The Irish really do run Boston. People of Irish ancestry make up the largest contingent of counties in Massachusetts, and in parts of Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and eastern New York. The only counties outside the Northeast where the Irish make up the biggest share of the population are in southern Oregon.

The legacy of slavery still shows up in many rural Southern […]

15 Jul 2014

Google Maps Offline – Tuesday’s Tip

Are you interested in using Google Maps offline?

There are two big advantages to using Google Maps this way:

  1. Save money by going easy on your data plan
  2. Avoid that dreaded “No Service” message

Using Google Maps online (i.e., with 3G or 4G connections instead of wireless) can chew through a lot of data quickly. Or have you ever been closing in a cemetery hunt or the location of a library when Google Maps can’t connect?

Whether you use an iPhone or an Android cell phone, you can take advantage of the ability to use Google Maps offline.

CNET, one of my favorite websites full of digital wizardry, shows in two steps how to save maps for offline access in their article, “How to Use Google Maps Offline Mode on iOS, Android.”

“With this feature, you can store large map areas for guidance, even when you’re stuck without reception,” […]

15 Mar 2014

OpenStreetMap and Genealogy

Today’s post is about OpenStreetMap and genealogy. I believe the next big advances in genealogy (and historiography) are coming from the growing ability to add historical data to mapping applications.

I’ve written about HistoryPin and WhatWasThere, both of which combine mapping and photographs. Another great project in this area is OpenStreetMap, a free, editable map of the whole world, which is of interest to genealogists for both input and research.

openstreetmap sassy jane genealogy

OpenStreetMap is open source, which means anyone can contribute to and edit the data. The OpenStreetMap license allows free access to the full map dataset, which can be downloaded in full. And because it’s open source, users can view changes and additions made over time to the database that underpins the map.

Also included in search results on OpenStreetMap are other bits of geographical information dear to genealogists, […]

22 Feb 2014

How Far Your Ancestors Could Travel from New York in One Day

Today’s post is about calculating how far your ancestors could travel from New York in one day. It’s an interesting question to genealogists whose ancestors came through the port of New York. Maps from the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, published in 1932, have been digitized and the data are now available by decade in the modern infographic above.

The Digital Scholarship Lab at The University of Richmond created travel time estimates using the data from the 1932 Atlas by digitizing the maps and making them available online.

In 1800, a stagecoach could only reach parts of the Northeast; Charleston, South Carolina, from Manhattan meant ten days of sailing. The maps as they appeared in the atlas are shown below.

The site concludes:

Today’s speed is a testament to infrastructure investment and technological improvements. The golden spike was driven into the transcontinental railroad in 1869. The first Model T hit the road in […]