Discover real estate and fire insurance maps of Boston and surrounding towns with detail down to the level of buildings and owner names
Fire insurance and real estate atlases offer one of the most incredible tools for researching urban form in the period roughly 1860–1940. However, these physical atlases can be cumbersome to use and difficult to compare across multiple volumes. Our Atlascope initiative has geotransformed 110+ atlas layers of Boston and its inner suburbs and made them discoverable as never before on a custom new web interface, suitable for browsing on a computer or mobile device.
Interested in hearing how Atlascope is evolving? We’re currently expanding the tool to cover additional towns across the state of Massachusetts. Visit this page to learn more and to get involved in this project.
Please visit our YouTube Channel to see previous events featuring Atlascope, including our “Neighborhood by Map” series.
Atlascope was developed by the team at the Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library. Primary design and development of the Atlascope app was conducted by Garrett Dash Nelson. Belle Lipton oversaw the first phase of atlas digitization and transformation for Atlascope v1.0.
Atlas layers have been prepared by multiple teams of interns including Ian Donnelly, Hanaan Yazdi, Abby Duker, Rachel Mead, Luwei Chen, Brian Kominick, Madison Bastress, Liz Kellam, Victoria Mak, Joshua Aldwinckle-Povey, Aditi Shankar, Phoebe McMahon, Olivia Lynch, Denyse Tan, Natalie Gilbert, Dina Gorelik, and Olivia Hewang.
New towns across Massachusetts are being added to Atlascope as of Spring 2023. We are grateful to the following institutions for sponsoring this work: