a new Gesher Galicia project: interactive historical data maps #galicia

tony hausner

Jay, many thanks for all your great work on this project and to Racheli Kreisberg of our Skala Research Group for her work on the Skala Podolskaya map.  

Tony Hausner
Silver Spring, MD 

Deb Katz

This project is a great addition to your already mind-bogglingly stupendous Map Room....what a gift!
aka Debra Katz
Pacific Beach CA USA

Jay Osborn

During the past several years we've been working on a way to attach
indexed genealogical data to a few of our historical cadastral maps of
towns in former Galicia. Today we posted the results of that effort in
a new section of the Gesher Galicia Map Room:


Four towns (Chyrów, Nadwórna, Rohatyn, and Skała) were chosen for the
development. For each, Gesher Galicia and energetic town research
leaders were able to gather a suitable Habsburg-era cadastral map,
plus substantial and well-organized indexed family history records,
and key property records which tie other records to numbers on the

A key feature of the maps is that the historical map image is aligned
and layered over a modern satellite image of the town; a slider allows
the user to adjust the opacity of the historical map to reveal how the
town has evolved from Galician times to today. In the new application,
for each of these towns it is now possible to search the linked data
for names or years by category, or to get a listing of all attached
data matching certain category criteria. From a listing of search
results, clicking a house number link centers the map on that house
and launches a pop-up window which lists all of the record data
associated with the house.

A user can also simply browse the map and click on house markers which
launch the records data. In this way, anyone can explore how houses
changed owners and residents, who lived near whom or near other town
features such as market squares and synagogues. The tool is thus
multi-dimensional, providing glimpses not only at the lives of
families as they moved about the town, but also at the lives of
individual houses across time. The web page listed above provides
links to the four maps, plus instructions for using the tool, and
background information on the project.

This project was partly funded by the Pamela Weisberger Memorial Fund,
in tribute to Gesher Galicia's late President. Pamela championed the
use of historical cadastral maps and property records from the
Habsburg Empire as a valuable tool for spatial analysis of
genealogical data, and inspired many of us to seek our ancestors'
place (in all of its senses) in history. A significant amount of the
work on this new project was done by volunteers, especially for
coordination and in town-specific research and data management; we
thank all of the people who contributed their ideas and efforts.

Jay Osborn
Gesher Galicia Digital Maps Manager
Lviv, Ukraine