The Toronto Park Lot Project is an endeavor by a blog reader and local Torontonian, Wendy Smith. The map explores the early days of Toronto (back then, called the Town of York) using photos, maps and text content. The image above shows how Wendy has overlayed historical, digitized maps of York over a Google map – an interesting (and exciting) mix of old and new. Various features of the map (town borders, water ways etc.) are associated with rich content including text and historical photographs.
In terms of the historic map overlay Wendy wanted to be able to accurately overlay the maps on a standard Google map, which is easier said than done. In order to do this, Wendy digitized the maps and overlayed them first in Google Earth. After distorting the image for accuracy, she made a workaround – taking a screenshot of the overlay. She imported this into Illustrator and used it as a template for distorting the original image manually. Using this, and using the coordinates of the Google Earth overlay, she was able to place the map accurately online in a Google map.
Really interesting maps and really exciting to see members of a community creating tools and exhibits like this for the public.