The Cities and Buildings Database is a collection of digitized images of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world, available to students, researchers and educators on the web.
This site "presents over 6,100 photographic images from the slide collections of the American Geographical Society Library. The images selected for this project focus on architecture, city life, people, transportation and other aspects of urban development, such as neighborhoods, commercial streets, and business districts. The pictures were taken by two photographers, Harrison Forman and Harold Mayer between 1942 and 1994. The digital collection provides access to photographs of over 450 cities worldwide. In addition to present-day metropolitan areas, this collection also features ancient cities and deserted settlements, including Carthage, Great Zimbabwe, Machu Picchu, and Persepolis." The images may be copied by individuals or libraries for personal use, research, teaching or any "fair use" as defined by copyright law.
Cyburbia connects planners, students, academics, urbanists, and others who are interested in or help shape the built environment. The gallery is divided into categories, such as "best practices," "general development," or "worst case scenario."
The historical map collection has over 65,000 maps and images online. The collection includes rare 16th through 21st century maps of America, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Pacific and the World.
Consisting of approximately 11,000 images that document the architecture, landscape and urban planning of sites across the United States—with a particular emphasis on Chicago and its suburbs—and, to a lesser extent, internationally, The Historic Architecture and Landscape Image collection, or HALIC, contains mounted photographic prints, lantern slides (both black and white and hand-colored), and postcards dating from the 1860s to the 1970s.
Built on the idea that every past is a place, HyperCities is a digital research and educational platform for exploring, learning about, and interacting with the layered histories of city and global spaces. Using Google Maps and Google Earth, HyperCities essentially allows users to go back in time to create and explore the historical layers of city spaces in an interactive, hypermedia environment. A HyperCity is a real city overlaid with a rich array of geo-temporal information, ranging from urban cartographies and media representations to family genealogies and the stories of the people and diverse communities who live and lived there. We are currently developing content for: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Rome, Lima, Ollantaytambo, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Tehran, Saigon, Toyko, Shanghai, Seoul, with many more (big and small) to come.
The Lincoln Highway Association was made up of representatives from the automobile, tire, and cement industries, with the goal of planning, funding, constructing, and promoting the first transcontinental highway in North America. The route, consisting of both existing and newly-built roads following the most direct route possible, ran from New York to San Francisco, covering approximately 3,400 miles. This original archive consists of materials from the central office in Detroit dating from 1912 up through the late 1930s. There are letters, manuscript trip logs, minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors, reports, contracts, financial statements, drawings, press releases, maps, brochures and guides, including the 1928 logbook of Lincoln Highway markers made by local Boy Scouts, and photographs. The photographic portion of the archive consists of approximately 3,000 images, including views of construction underway, towns and cities, markers, bridges, cars, camp sites, scenic views, and snapshots of Association directors and field secretaries traveling the route. This collection is open to the public.
For maps, postcards, and a pictorial history of the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, look no further. This site is well organized, with both browsing and searching features to find images. The images themselves are large and high quality, with data to accompany it. Users who may be using this site frequently can create their own portfolios. The authors state that it is a 'public website,' indicating that the images are available under fair use laws. More information about copyright will be available soon.
The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response.
The PBIC Image Library is a searchable collection of free, real-world images relating to walking and bicycling. Users can browse, search, or submit their own images. The browse feature is organized by a cloud tag, with a seemingly limited range of keywords. However, users can also use the advanced search option and search by city, state, keywords, photographer, and even image format. Image quality is great, though it probably varies by photographer.
The University Library’s collection of Sanborn fire insurance maps includes maps for Illinois towns; rural settings are not included. Sanborn maps were produced to assist insurance underwriters in determining fire insurance rates for individual buildings by examining the buildings' construction methods, heat and lighting sources, manufacturing uses, and the same attributes of nearby buildings. The maps primarily provide information on the downtown areas of cities and adjoining residential areas. They are a record of urban development from the 1880s through the first half of the twentieth century. Family historians may find them interesting in documenting family homes and businesses.
Via Notre Dame, this research portal preserves the architectural history of Seaside, Florida, the first New Urban community. It features individual histories of buildings and interactive maps of the cities development.
"Whether it's by bullet train in Tokyo or dogsled in arctic Canada, people of the world have always had a need to get from "point A" to "point B." The photographs in Transportation Around the World: 1911-1993 present a wide variety of transportation methods used in 79 countries across the globe. The 650 images contained in this digital collection were selected from three separate photographic collections: the Harrison Forman Collection, Harold Mayer Collection, andAmerican Geographical Society Library Print Collection. All three collections are housed in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries' American Geographical Society (AGS) Library. " Users can browse by transportation type (even donkeys!), transportation facilities (such as airports, train stations, etc.), collection name, or geographic location. Searching is also enabled. Image quality varies, and the images are available for educational purposes.