Map Library staff have created a historical street map of the Region of Waterloo that lets users explore changes in city boundaries, urban growth, and the street network as far back as 1955.
Already drawing the attention of the Daily Bulletin and The Record, the historical street map is the second phase of the Map Library’s project which commenced in 2008 with the digitization and georeferencing of over 2,000 historical air photos of the Region of Waterloo.
The historical street map for 1955 is available to download in the user-friendly KML format and is viewable in Google Earth.
Some of the more interesting observations library staff have made analyzing the historical street map include:
The Street Map files were created by using a GIS program to analyze the street network visible in the 1955 air photos. Instead of manually drawing the streets in, staff worked with a 2010 street network map as a baseline, and deleted all newer streets and then recreated the historical ones. Street names were assigned to the street files by checking against a georeferenced 1955 Kitchener and Waterloo city map.
For more maps and highlights of historical changes in the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, visit the Map Libraries Waterloo County Historical Street Project Website.
You may also download the KML files and view the streets in Google Earth to accurately compare the past and the present.
By Eva Dodsworth and Steve Xu
For more information, contact:
Geospatial Data Services Librarian
GIS Library Associate