2

I'm looking for historical shapefiles of city boundaries in the United States, for the time period 1920 - 1950. I know these won't be available for every city, especially small ones, but I'd like as many as I can.

Other questions, like this one deal with MSAs and CBSAs, which I don't think existed at the time. If all else fails, I can use those.

Other resources like the National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS), Duke, and the Newberry Library don't seem to have these either.

  • 1
    The major challenge with getting shapefiles specifically for historical cities is that they only tend to be digitized into existence when a researcher/planner has needed them, and even then, the availability and popularity of open geodata is a relatively new phenomenon. For these matters, it might be useful to try your hand at digitizing, or at least learning how to georeference historical maps of cities. You aren't the first to ask for this data and I'm sure the folks over at gis.stackexchange.com (myself included) can offer a hand in it. Also consider seeing if similar projects exist. – Trevor J. Smith Sep 9 '18 at 19:39
  • 1
    If you search for census "city boundaries" 1920 (as quoted) in books.google.com, you may find some maps you could convert from printed form to shapefiles. I only found county boundaries, but I didn't dig very deep. – Barry Carter Sep 12 '18 at 19:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.