The 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy challenge was written by the author of a Family Tree Magazine Top 40 Genealogy blog (woot!) and is graciously hosted each week by Geneabloggers.com. You are welcome to join in the fun.
This week's task:
Discover online map collections. Historical maps are wonderful tools for historical research. Fortunately for genealogists, many map collections are located online. Some of the more prominent collections are the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress, the David Rumsey Map Collection, and the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. Take some time to browse each of these collections. You may also want to check the library web site of your local university (or one near your ancestral home) to see what maps they have online. If you have a genealogy blog, write about any special maps you find during this activity.
I looked at all of these sites, but spent the most time with the Perry-Castaneda collection. Did you know they have bird maps? I do now. I also looked at pre-1900 Galveston just for the heck of it to see what the city look like at its peak before the hurricane destroyed it. I looked at my part of Texas to see what it used to look like before it was houses. I looked at maps of downtown Houston, Los Angeles and other big cities of personal interest.
I spent some time looking at historical maps of Germany because I need a little assistance in learning about the history of that country and the surrounding region.
I didn't try to do any genealogy work during this lesson because I just wanted to browse the maps and see what I could find. Some of the maps featured in these collections were from other collections. Thus, this challenge introduced me to new regional repositories.
Finally after several hours of browsing in several sittings, I just had to stop. I could look at maps all day.
I wonder what the next challenge will be? I guess I could go look it up in my files, but it's funner to be surprised with everyone else.