This April we are once again blogging along with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Our team of one-place studiers will be sharing some of the treasures to be found for a one-place study, particularly around the theme of Visualisation, our Shared Endeavour for 2016.

Did you know? The first English map of the British Isles was drawn by a Benedictine monk (Matthew Paris) of St Albans in the 13th century. Over the centuries, cartographic techniques have improved enormously and in the 19th century, there were major advances in map-making ... Ordnance Survey, Samuel Lewis, tithe maps and much more. But, if you head into the 21st century, the online world offers so much more than our wildest dreams as one-placers!

Looking at historical maps and comparing them with modern-day maps, you can begin to see the changes in your one-place community. In my local community (where I live), there used to be a large pork factory in the centre of the town. It is no longer and, when it closed, many local residents either moved out of the town or had to seek employment elsewhere. This changed the landscape irrevocably. The closure and demolition of the factory meant that the property prices dropped in the town as there were fewer jobs... One of the reasons I moved here in the early 2010s!

Comparing the 'lie of the land' now to fifty, one hundred and one hundred and fifty years ago, the increase in housing in the late 20th century was enormous which, of course, resulted in a decrease in green fields on the map.

But when it comes to mapping in your place study, what do you do? Historic censuses are simple to use to map changes in residence from one decade to another, but new maps were not published in each decade (certainly not in the 19 th century) to check out the changes in the landscape.

Having won our Skipton Building Society Grassroots Grant, the Society is working on some mapping functionality which will (we hope) be useful to all one-placers – take a look at the website What would you like to accomplish in the way of mapping but have never found a way of achieving it? Look no further – talk to Peter Cooper about the way forward!

Kirsty Gray

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