Use a Historical Map

When you run the geographic visualisation in nodegoat, you see your data plotted on a map. This map is generated by means of map tiles that are provided by an external service. You can use any service that provides map tiles for this purpose. This guide will show you how to use historical maps in your geographic visualisation.

Until recently it was quite a challenge to get map tiles of historical maps. Since the Georeferencer service publishes map tiles, many historical maps can be used in applications like nodegoat. You can find an overview of institutes that publish their maps as tiles via the Georeferencer service on this page. The David Rumsey Map Collection is a very rich collection of historical maps that publishes its maps via the Georeferencer service. See this page for an overview of georeferenced maps.

This guide will show how to use a map of the David Rumsey Map Collection in nodegoat. These steps will be similar when you use a map of another institute that has been published via the Georeferencer service.

Get the Map Tiles

Find a georeferenced map in the David Rumsey Map Collection that you want to use. For example, this map of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Click the orange 'View in Georeferencer' button to see a georeferenced version of this map.

Click the 'This Map' button in the top menu to see the specifications of the map. On the left side of this page there is a box with the heading 'Use in GIS apps', which provides you with links to the tiles of this map. These links are only visible after you have signed in. Click 'Sign in to get links' and register an account with the Georeferencer service (this account is valid for all the institutes that work with the Georeferencer service). After you have logged in, click the 'Get links' button to see the links to the tiles of this map.

Copy the URL that is displayed in the input field with the label 'XYZ link' to get a direct link to the tiles of this map.

Configure your Visualisation Settings

Go to your nodegoat environment and click the icon that is displayed on the right side of the visualisation buttons ('Visualisation Settings'). Go to the tab 'Visual Settings' and open the tab 'Geographical'. Find the 'Map' label and paste the URL you copied from the Georeferencer service into the first input field. Enter information about the map in the second input field.

Click 'Save Settings'. This map is now displayed whenever you run the geographical visualisation. When you use this map in combination with the historical gazetteer of Ukraine that was imported in the previous guide, you will see a visualisation like this:

Just like these places, you can also visualise data from the Type 'Person' on this map:

Upload your own Map

You can use the Georeferencer service to upload your own map and to publish a georeferenced version of this as map tiles. To do so, go to and login with your account. Open the menu and click 'Add own map' to upload an image of your map. Once the upload process has completed your can start to georeference your map by adding points to your map and the georeferenced map. You can use the 'Coordinates' option to change the transformation of the map (i.e. how much deformation you want to allow). Use the 'Clip' option to remove any margins or borders.

Once you are done, you can go to 'This Map' and click 'Get links' in the 'Use in GIS apps' box to obtain the 'XYZ link'. Paste this URL into the map settings in your nodegoat environment as shown above.