Blog Post

Useful tool for map historians

I’m always on the search for new cartography tools. Recently, I was visiting the webpage of a fellow cartographer (Bernhard Jenny) who often develops helpful open source software for terrain mapping, and I happily came across a new product called MapAnalyst. This application could be of particular importance to both cartographers and those in the humanities, especially map historians.

The purpose of MapAnalyst (a Java based application for all major operating systems) is to determine the accuracy of old maps, computing distortion grids and other useful information.

To download the application and find out more information visit:




As far as other applications go, I would recomend the following:

Color Oracle - Helps in the desinging of maps for the color blind (

GIS Look - Allows for spatial data to be viewed outside of GIS software (

Indiemapper - A web-based thematic mapping program that helps users create better designed maps - it was created by cartographers (

These are the open-source appilcations that I often recommend, but there are plenty of slighty more advanced applications out there. 

Landserf (

PDF Maps (app) is also a useful tool, and runs on iphones and ipads (




Hi Aaron,

Thanks for sharing this tool. I know a number of early modern historians that would certainly want to test this application. As a non-cartographer or map specialist, are there any other applications you would recommend, besides the big name ones (GIS, Neatline, etc...)?