Michigan Birdseye Maps (1866 – 1889)
- Grade: 3rd - 5th
- Primary Source Set
A bird’s eye map shows a place from an aerial perspective. Imagine looking out over a city as a bird high in the sky. It’s likely mapmakers obtained this view through hot airbollons. Mapmakers practiced this method of maping for centuries. However, bird’s eye maps didn’t became popular until the late 19th century.
During this time, small towns and urban centers all over the United States clammered for bird’s eye view maps. One reason for their popularity is that the maps offered buisnesses and organization a great way to promote themselves. As a result, businesses, churches, and individuals paid money to the mapmaker to have their buildings included. In sum, these maps are often an idyllic view of a place, showing progress, peace, and wealth.
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Primary Sources on Michiganology
Birds-Eye View of Muskegon Michigan From Muskegon Lake Looking East
Printed birds-eye view of Muskegon, Michigan.