Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System (GBHGIS)

JISC logo Old Maps Online: Finding and referencing historical mapping as a platform for research and teaching.

November 2011-January 2013

This is a project funded under the JISC Content Programme 2011-13, Strand C: Clustering Digital Content. It will construct an online geographical search portal for finding digital images of historical maps based on locality and period. The University of Portsmouth team will work in partnership with Swiss-based Klokan Technologies GmbH to create the portal and collaborate with a number of major map libraries who will be contributing metadata content. This project will also publish new “best practices” for defining persistent Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) to maintain hyperlinks consistently over long periods, these will be developed through working with the collated map metadata.


To create a search portal which improves access to online historical map collections and to generate "best practice" guidelines for using spatial metadata in this way.


Currently users must search the catalogues of individual map libraries and their websites to find maps that may interest them. Creating this open acess portal will allow users to focus on a particular location and time period, identifying all maps of interest from a range of different libraries in a single simple query. They can then choose to view individual map images properly by clicking through to visit the map library website.

Programme Website: C.aspx

Project Partner:

Klokan Technologies GmbH:

Project Documentation: