Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Guest Post: Historic 1913 flood Mapping History Project

Do you recognize any of these locations?

Last week I received an email from a member of the blog,, asking me if I'd accept a guest post focusing on a photo project they were doing for the Centennial of the 1913 flood that devastated the Midwest. You may have seen the recent Blade article on the event.

But the Ohio history buffs on the website need your help - and here is their guest post:

The week of March 21st through March 26th marks the 100 year anniversary of one of the greatest – and least talked about - natural disasters to ever hit the United States, and the worst in Ohio history. A series of winter storms that hit the area this week in 1913 started a chain reaction that began with more than 10 inches of rain hitting the already over-saturated Great Miami watershed area. The resulting runoff then quickly swelled the Great Miami river and its tributaries to the breaking point, and the resulting flooding ultimately ended with hundreds dead, thousands homeless, and billions of dollars of damage inflicted upon much of the Midwest and parts of New England.

With some help from some friends we created a great photo set, matching available historical images with the current images found on Google Streetview. It creates a really cool perspective of what these areas looked like during the flood compared to what they look like today.

While we were researching the locations of the images to together our “then and now” photo sets, occasionally we came across a photograph for which, try as we might, we couldn’t definitively tie to a particular location. We set these photos aside and returned to them once we had identified the others we were working with, but even after a second pass, our best efforts couldn’t place these photos in an exact 1913 or 2013 location. In most cases, we knew what city or town we were looking at, but without the street address or intersection, we couldn’t find the location in Google Maps.

Then a light bulb went on above our heads, and we thought, why not let our readers help us find the photo locations that we can’t? Many of our readers know more about the history of a given town or city than we do, and have volunteered information to help us identify photos in the past, so we thought this would be the perfect way to get readers directly involved with our project. Along with the satisfaction of helping us set the record straight, one lucky submitter will be drawn at random once the photos have all been matched, and that submitter will win a $100 Amazon Gift Code!

Here’s how it works. To submit an image location to us that you believe matches one of the images listed at our Mapping History Contest,

1. Go to Google Maps:
2. Use Google Maps to find the location that you think best matches the original photo
3. Click the Link icon (located next to the printer icon), and email this link URL along with the title of the post from our Mapping History Contest listings to

That’s it! Just by submitting, you’ll be automatically entered in the drawing to receive a $100 Amazon Gift Code from our sponsors at

Have at it, readers!

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