Turn scans into maps

Georeferencer is an online tool that assigns geographical location to any image.

How does it work?

There are two maps on the screen. On the left side is a picture of an old map and on the right side is the up-to date online map. Just find the same place on both maps, click on this place in the left screen and then in the right screen. A minimum of three control points are required to calculate the geographical position of the map. The more control points that are added, the more precise the georeference is. Standardized Web Map Tile Service (OGC WMTS) is delivered immediately.


The historical map can appear as an overlay on the correct position in Google Earth or over modern maps. Side-by-side view is available as well, to compare any two maps next to each other. Via crowdsourcing, you can invite visitors of your website or the general public to actively participate and help your institution with locating of your maps. Login is available with Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts.








Institutions using Georeferencer

Large collections of scanned images have been successfully georeferenced in crowdsourcing pilots of our customers.






Why georeference?

Historical maps are the field where search tools, such as Google, often fail. This is because maps are documents related to the place itself, and not to its name. The names of places change with time, the geographical position does not. To find a historical map of a small place, that is not indexed by keywords can take hours, or days, if it is even possible at all. Our approach makes such searches easy and fast by geographical search.


The search takes 20 seconds, instead of hours and days spent going through different archives. You can try to search for any place at www.oldmapsonline.org, which is a search engine for old maps based on the MapRankSearch platform. If you want to have a geographical search on your website, you will need to host your maps on a suitable server, provide a fast and reliable web viewer (see more at Cultural heritage page) and assign geographical location to each record, which is exactly what Georeferencer does.




Get Georeferencer

The only requirement is to have hosted maps with a zoomable viewer. In case your map is not available online yet, we can arrange suitable hosting and an online viewer based on the IIIF standard. More information about the hosting of maps is available at Cultural heritage page.


When the maps are online and accessible, a spreasheet with links to the maps and catalogue records is required for the initial import. If we have all this together, we will load your maps in the system within a two weeks. Please see the documentation for the sample spreadsheet and what cells it should contain at: http://help.georeferencer.com/metadata. The service is supplied in the default orange design and it is possible to customize the design to fit into your website. There are also several widgets that can be pasted into the website.


There is a fee for initial setup and then a maintenance fee for each year running the service, which is according to the number of maps that you use, please see the pricelist. For any information regarding implementation of Georeferencer for your organization, please contact us.




Georeferencer