Discover real estate and fire insurance maps of Boston and surrounding towns with detail down to the level of buildings and owner names

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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 101 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.

Upcoming Atlascope events

Past Atlascope events

Please visit our YouTube Channel to see previous events featuring Atlascope, including our “Neighborhood by Map” series.

Atlascope credits

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 were prepared by a team of interns including Ian Donnelly, Hanaan Yazdi, Abby Duker, Rachel Mead, Luwei Chen, Brian Kominick, Madison Bastress, Liz Kellam and Victoria Mak.

CLIR logoAssociates of the BPL Logo

Digitization and preparation of atlas layers was made possible by the Council on Library and Information Resources and the Associates of the Boston Public Library.

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