Comparing 16th Century Maps to Current Satellite Imagery

Remember life before GPS? Instead of to-the-minute maps and turn-by-turn directions to the tune of an Australian woman's voice, we relied on compasses and hand drawn maps.

In the 16th century, Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg compiled Civitates Orbis Terrarum, a book of bird's-eye-view maps. From the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's and the Jewish National and University Library's Historic Cities site:

"This great city atlas, edited by Georg Braun and largely engraved by Franz Hogenberg, eventually contained 546 prospects, bird-eye views and map views of cities from all over the world. Braun (1541-1622), a cleric of Cologne, was the principal editor of the work, and was greatly assisted in his project by the close, and continued interest of Abraham Ortelius, whose Theatrum Orbis Terrarum of 1570 was, as a systematic and comprehensive collection of maps of uniform style, the first true atlas."

Take a look at how the Google Maps of the 1500s compares to today's version, in some of the world's biggest cities.

Presented by

Leah Goldman is the list and rankings editor at Business Insider. She graduated from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications where she studied magazine journalism.

Life as an Obama Impersonator

"When you think you're the president, you just act like you are above everybody else."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

VIdeo

Life as an Obama Impersonator

"When you think you're the president, you just act like you are above everybody else."

Video

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

More in Technology

Just In