May 28, 2022

New Interactive Maps Reveal London’s History in Unprecedented Detail

From the JISC Web Site:

Locating London’s Past is a new JISC-funded website that lets users delve deep into the capital’s past, revolutionising our understanding of London’s history. The website is the first to map information from a vast array of sources, covering:

  • crime and punishment
  • the distribution of wealth, poverty and occupations
  • the ownership of consumer goods
  • mortality

Alastair Dunning, programme manager at JISC, said: “Researchers in the humanities and social sciences are turning increasingly to geographical analysis as a way of bringing the facts and figures to life. What’s exciting about this resource is that the existing data you can explore today is just the start – the interface could be expanded to include new data sets and new maps, making it potentially useful to scholars in dozens of different disciplines. JISC’s commitment to funding open source projects means that other universities are already looking at how they might reuse the programmes that the Sheffield team has developed.”


Locating London’s Past is the result of a collaborative project between the University of Sheffield, the University of Hertfordshire, and the University of London.

Using the new website, people are now able to explore fully geo-referenced detail using Google maps technology to reveal the distribution of crimes, wealth and poverty, mortality, archaeological finds, voting records and much more.

Professor Tim Hitchcock from the University of Hertfordshire commented: “This project has allowed us to add a new, third dimension to our understanding of the first ‘World City’. Text on the page can now be reconfigured around place and space to create a new historical landscape to reveal pockets of crime and poverty, wealth, and illness. It allows us to know the past in a new way.”

The interface for the website was developed by the University of Sheffield’s Humanities Research Institute (HRI), publishers of the prize-winning Old Bailey Online website.

Direct to Locating London’s Past

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.