Thursday 21st August 2008

Map illustrationI’ve just added a new feature to the site: maps showing many places at once. They allow you to, for example, see all the churches in London Pepys has mentioned in one glance. Or London streets, or places outside Britain, and more.

Although we’ve had maps showing the locations of individual buildings, roads, etc for some time it seems more interesting and useful to be able to compare many on one map. It gives a better impression of the size of Pepys’ day-to-day world.

To help with these maps I’ve re-organised the categories of places in the Encyclopedia, particularly around what is defined as “within” and “outside” London. I’ve settled on defining London as being roughly what Pepys would have called London. Places beyond this, but still within what we think of as London today, are in London environs.

There are a lot of places listed in the Encyclopedia that don’t have location information and so aren’t shown on these maps at the moment. I hope to add more of them. If you come across a place in the Encyclopedia that doesn’t show a Google map when you view its own page, and you know where it is (or was) located, try using something like Get Lat Lon to find out the latitude and longitude and email them to me.

You should find links to these maps from appropriate places throughout the Encyclopedia. Thanks to those from the discussion group who suggested improvements on some early maps.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to test these maps fully on Windows, so do let me know if you find anything that doesn’t work as expected. And any other suggestions for improvement (whether about the maps or not) are always appreciated.

10 Comments

language hat   Link to this

Well done -- thanks!

arby   Link to this

Great addition, thanks. I've never commented before, but I'd like to take the opportunity to say thanks for the site. I've been reading it nearly as long as I've had a computer, and enjoy the heck out of it. Thanks for all the time and work you've put into it. rb

matthew   Link to this

Many many thanks for this. It's something I have thought about for ages - and then it happens!!
Great site.

CGS   Link to this

Fantabulus,

Glyn   Link to this

Fantastic. You must have a brain the size of a planet (or at least a major asteroid).

Glyn   Link to this

But while I'm amazed by all the work this must have taken I'm unsure how useful it will be. We know that most of his time is spent moving between the old City of London and Westminster, especially along or on the river. Does this add anything significant?

Phil Gyford   Link to this

Good question Glyn. I wouldn't say it's going to hugely change the say we think about Pepys, but I think it's a modest change. One thing is that it makes me realise quite how small Pepys' London is compared to even what we think of as "Central London" today.

Also it's perhaps just the first step in different ways to look at all the data we're building up about Pepys on the site, and hopefully there'll be more interesting and useful ones over the next few years.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

It's been tremendously helpful to me as an outsider -- though your walks, Glyn, helped me (and my feet) get an idea of the scale of Sam's London, I still occasionally had the help of the Tube, and didn't get to many of the places outside the city that he's been frequenting during the plague times, so for me the new map features provide a quick and easy reference.

Anneke   Link to this

I am sure you are aware of this site:
http://users.bathspa.ac.uk/greenwood/lplaces.html

The maps are, of course, later than the diaries but give a better historical reference than Google maps. I often pull them up (Google and the Greenwood maps) side-by-side in order to find something that may have disappeared in some recent building blitz.

It is handy when trying to locate some long-disappeared Thames Stairs or to pinpoint the location of a long-gone factory.

Phil Gyford   Link to this

Anneke, I don't think I'd ever seen that site, so thanks for that.

You inspired me to write a summary of all the decent historical London maps, which I hope people will find useful: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/324/

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