Starting with the base map from 1878, the county park layer in this image shows how the Ma & Pa rail line came through the future location of Heavenly Waters Park and Bel Air.

BEL AIR — On July 6, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman announced that interactive maps of Harford County dating all the way back to the 1800s are now online and accessible to the public.

“Residents of all ages can learn about our past and present by exploring these interactive maps,” Glassman said in a press release.

The maps are being hosted on the county’s WebGIS Data Viewer and can be viewed under the Maps & Apps section of the county website. The Data Viewer was developed by the Department of Planning and Zoning as a way of allowing educators and constituents to access the county’s Geographic Information System, which compiles geographic databases.

The GIS databases are used internally by the Department of Planning and Zoning as well as other departments and individuals.

Members of the public can access the Data Viewer without any of the specialized software the GIS normally requires to run, allowing anyone with internet access to utilize the tool.

The new historic map collection includes Jennings & Herrick’s 1858 Map of Harford County, Maryland, S.J. Martenet’s 1878 Map of Harford County, Maryland, and early 20th century U.S. Geological Survey topography and election districts maps. Modern top-down aerial maps are also available for viewing within the base maps gallery.

Viewers will be able to to search, view, and print the historical maps, as well as overlay historical maps and modern maps to see how the county has changed over time. Additional layers can be selected to look at both topographical and zoned features, such as agricultural and historical preserves or public works like bridges.

Glassman praised the work of county staff in making the information available to the public.

“I would like to thank my staff in the department of planning and zoning for continuing to expand our Maps & Apps features, this time using modern technology to keep Harford’s history alive,” Glassman said.

The maps can be accessed by the public at: https://hcggis.harfordcountymd.gov/planning/harfordgis/

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