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Geography and Map Division



Thematic Maps and Atlases
Statistical Data
Landownership Maps and Atlases
Land Use Maps
arrow graphicPanoramic Maps or Birds'-Eye Views
Pictorial Maps
Graphic Images on Maps





Panoramic Maps or Birds'-Eye Views
see caption below

Bird's eye view of Denver, Colorado, 1908. Denver Lith. Co. [Denver, 1808 c1907]. G4314.D4A3 1908.B4 Geography and Map Division.

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In the years following the Civil War, the panoramic map became a popular cartographic form for portraying American cities. Though generally not drawn to scale, these maps were based on detailed on-site studies and provide an accurate perspective view of landscape features, streets, and buildings of the period. They frequently show individual structures and their use, some of which are identified by gender, including schools and academies, hospitals, and seminaries for women. Panoramic Maps of Cities in the United States and Canada: A Checklist of Maps in the Collections of the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, 2nd ed. (Washington: Library of Congress, 1984; Z6027.U5 L5 1984), compiled by John R. Hébert and revised by Patrick E. Dempsey, describes and gives the physical location of these views, some of which are housed in the Prints and Photographs Division. All of the images are now available online at <>.

Frequently portrayed in the foreground of these decorative prints are male and female figures, sometimes in family groups and always in contemporary dress. The decorative borders of the maps often include engravings showing the larger homes and business structures of the town.

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