Professional cartographer Chris Olsen from California has made it possible to travel through time in my hometown, Toronto, by assembling maps from 1818 to 1924 with aerial views from 1947 to 2012. Released earlier this month, this Google Maps-style interface lets you explore maps of Toronto that date back almost two centuries.
I found the best way to use the maps is to click on 2012 (or another year) in the timeline bar toward the top of the screen at the right. Then, I entered an address in the box, next to About and above the timeline. For my first attempt, I entered 464 King Street East where my most elusive ancestor, Alexander Brown Young, lived from about 1922 to 1925. The 2012 aerial view of the building appeared. To zoom in, I clicked on one of the buttons on the far left of the screen. Next, I clicked on 1947 in the timeline bar, then 1924, and so on, jumping down through the decades to see how his neighbourhood had changed. To move around the area or pan, I clicked on the hand image on the far left.
Give the map a try for yourself.
For more information, read the BlogTO article.