A new website has been launched that allows you to explore information from the 17th and 18th centuries. Locating London’s Past incorporates a bunch of datasets (including plague deaths from the 1665 outbreak, Old Bailey records from 1674 to 1820, population stats and even archaeological finds) and lets you plot that data against various maps — including John Rocque’s 1746 map of London and the current Google map.
It’s all been put together by teams from the University of Hertfordshire, the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, the University of Sheffield and Museum of London Archaeology. They’ve done such a good job the site is in danger of becoming a massive timesink — in the pictures, we’ve been messing about comparing 1665 plague deaths with population density and mapping them against various stages of London’s development — and you can use Streetview to drop into an area in the old maps and see what it looks like today.
It can be a bit tricky to work out how to use the site at first, so we recommend watching the short tutorial videos the site has put together.