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Swiss Historical Maps Allow Journey Through Time In Your Browser

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the no-dinosaurs-i-checked dept.

Open Source 32

An anonymous reader writes "The Swiss Federal Office of Topography has published a complete set of digitized historical maps from 1938 to 2011. The twist: a browser application allows you to create a time travel movie at any place in Switzerland for any zoom level. As an example, you can see the recession of Europe's biggest glacier over the last 75 years. The application is the most recent effort of the Swiss Government to make geodata freely available to the public at no cost using open source software and will include maps dating as far back as 1838."

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32 comments

A glass darkly (1)

Shamanin (561998) | about a year and a half ago | (#42628805)

EOM

Google Maps (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42628837)

I've always wished Google Maps would add another slider that lets you scroll back to previous satellite images of the same area.

Re:Google Maps (5, Informative)

hammeraxe (1635169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42628931)

This is possible in Google Earth, it is a really neat feature. For some areas they have imagery that dates back to the 80s.

For instance, you can check naval bases and see which aircraft carriers have been in at certain times. Or, more mundane, just look at how your neighbourhood/city has expanded/changed over the years.

Re:Google Maps (3, Insightful)

mikael (484) | about a year and a half ago | (#42629149)

Extend that to photographs and postcards. I've seen postcards of villages from 90 years ago, and they haven't changed. The most haunting one was to see pictures of the shop-owners and their children. The shops and homes were the same with minor modifications. But it was so strange to realize that none of those people were around any more.

Fantastic Idea (4, Insightful)

Unknown1337 (2697703) | about a year and a half ago | (#42628911)

The implications this could have for history records and documenting future changing is amazing. The idea of making this information public domain and easily accessible could drive both knowledge of the country and maybe broaden the understanding of time's effect on landscape, etc. with a huge visual impact.

Old (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42629673)

You know you are getting old when records from 1938 are "Historical".

Historical, that's from the 1800s...not a mere lifetime ago.

Re:Old (1)

Unknown1337 (2697703) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631137)

Historical by definition is "concerning history; belonging to the past, not the present." which would make anything that happened yesterday (or even an hour ago for that matter) historical. Obviously the longer the range, the more useful/applicable this information becomes, but even this initial availability will be able to teach many people new things. To put a finer point on it, many things have happened more recently than 1938 that are considered to be 'historical'. For example: World War II, Sputnik Satellite launched, etc.

Re:Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42631221)

Bah!

Re:Old (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632999)

Mod parent +1: Humbug

1838? 1938? Which is it? (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | about a year and a half ago | (#42628947)

1838 would seem to be wrong, but maybe someone should check the article and write a summary on it.

Re:1838? 1938? Which is it? (4, Informative)

athmanb (100367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42628989)

It's 1938 so far, they have much older maps that they're still working on. 1838 was the year the first full-country map of Switzerland was published.

Re:1838? 1938? Which is it? (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | about a year and a half ago | (#42629033)

Thanks. That would have been a better summary than what we have, I think.

Re:1838? 1938? Which is it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42629071)

all you had to do was check the 1st link and look at the interface, moron

Re:1838? 1938? Which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42630091)

Or the "editor" could have done that.

Re:1838? 1938? Which is it? (0)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631645)

look asshole, if the editor can't even edit numbers, I'm sure not going to trust his .html abilities.

CERN Evolving (5, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#42628963)

IF you want to see the evolution of the CERN particle physics lab this this link [admin.ch] . You can see the construction of some of the early accelerators (PS and ISR) which were in buildings (PS) or a large circular raised embankment (ISR). However the more modern accelerators you can only detect by the construction of new surface buildings (look for the ATLAS and LHC magnet assembly buildings appearing across the road from the main site towards the end.

Well grab the popcorn! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42628991)

As an example, you can see the recession of Europe's biggest glacier over the last 75 years.

Thrilling, I guess, if you live and breathe environmental activism.

Re:Well grab the popcorn! (1)

denvergeek (1184943) | about a year and a half ago | (#42629185)

Or if you're a geology nerd. Glaciers are cool on many levels, not all of them involving hippies.

I have an idea (3, Funny)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about a year and a half ago | (#42629009)

Can this system be patented: Not criminalizing people for liberating data because is it already free?

I know that Switzerland has very clever patent clerks.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42629099)

I know that Switzerland has very clever patent clerks.

Just the one, and that ingrate quit after only 6 years. The nerve!

They tried this in Japan once (0)

Dwedit (232252) | about a year and a half ago | (#42629129)

They tried showing historical maps in Japan once. They overlaid them on top of current maps.
It only led to people attempting to revive a caste system and discrimination.

Bah developers suck (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42629359)

It doesn't work in IE 6. Can they fix it by the end of the day?

Sincerely, PHB

IE 6 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42629521)

the 90's called they want YOUR browser back

Re:IE 6 ? (1)

uglyMood (322284) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631173)

Whoosh!

Re:IE 6 ? (1)

uglyMood (322284) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631201)

Perhaps I was too harsh. PHB is an acronym for "Pointy Haired Boss." Although someone reading Slashdot and not getting a Dilbert reference...

Whoosh!

Re:Bah developers suck (1)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | about a year and a half ago | (#42635301)

No, make it an ActiveX, so that it also works in IE 5.5

Re:Bah developers suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642477)

It's tested with IE7 onwards and should work in about every other browser, too. Fortunately nowaday there's no need anymore to bother about IE6.

Try Firefox, Chrome or IE9 for a really smooth animation.

Unless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42629365)

>> browser application allows you to create a time travel movie ...unless you're using Opera, apparently.

Google Maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42629733)

This capability is going to be fantastic when applied to Google satellite and street view images.

Fantastic!

Re:Google Maps (1)

hduff (570443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631653)

This capability is going to be fantastic when applied to Slashdot so we can see it when it was good and compare it to now.

I must conclude (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | about a year and a half ago | (#42632529)

I must conclude that I live in the most boring place on earth. In a radius of 5km from my house, not a single dot changed since 1938. (And no, transitions from monochrome to colour don't really count.)

Prilosec (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42645771)

Soulskill - Thank you for the article.
buy prilosec online [prilosecinfo.com]

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