The Library of Congress
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Map Collections | Cities and Towns
Panoramic map
Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress

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The panoramic map was a popular cartographic form used to depict U.S. and Canadian cities and towns during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Known also as bird's-eye views, perspective maps, and aero views, panoramic maps are nonphotographic representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. Although not generally drawn to scale, they show street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features in perspective.

The majority of items presented here are documented in PANORAMIC MAPS of Cities in the United States and Canada, second edition (1984), by John R. Hébert and Patrick E. Dempsey. Hébert and Dempsey compiled a checklist of 1,726 panoramic maps of U.S. and Canadian cities, the bulk of which were done by Albert Ruger, Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler, Lucien R. Burleigh, Henry Wellge, and Oakley H. Bailey who prepared more than fifty-five percent of the panoramic maps in the Library of Congress. Additional panoramic maps will be added to this presentation as they are acquired by the Geography & Map Division.

The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.

Understanding the Collection

Panoramic Mapping

Panoramic Artists and Publishers

Selected Bibliography

Collection Connections

Working with the Collection

How to Order Reproductions

Viewing Maps

Map Images Background Information

Digitizing the Collection

Cataloging the Collection

Copyright and Other Restrictions


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