02 January 2009

The Lay of the Land [Quick Tip]

Happy New Year!

Did you notice, in the rush of the holidays, that Google Maps has added a new terrain feature to their site?:

Obviously, this has huge implications for genealogy researchers, for whom an awareness of natural travel barriers like mountains, rivers, etc. can be helpful in determining behaviors of ancestors.

Here's a typical street map view of Belt, Montana, a residence of my great-grandfather Peter Shannon:

Compare the information available through the street map to that available from the new terrain view, and you can see how the terrain view could influence my understanding of Peter's activities and movements around this town:


Miriam said...

A new toy...wonderful! Thank you, Jennifer!

Tolley Family Historian said...

In addition to this - try
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/ which can show you the route and distance between places - again very useful for seeing how ancestors may or may not have "drifted" from one place to another.