SJPL Database Delight Training

Week 8: Sanborn Maps

Posted on: May 20, 2010

The Sanborn Maps collection features large scale images of old fire insurance maps that include information about structural locations, property lines, and structure building dates etc.  On the incredibly rare chance that someone will ask specifically for a California historical fire insurance map, here is your resource!  Additionally, these are useful for people looking for the history of their properties, property lines, when structures were built, and general history of the local area.

These maps contain data that fire insurance companies used to estimate the potential risk for urban structures. This data included information such as historical street names, house numbers, building size, building use and construction details.

Access from outside the library with a San Jose Public Library Card number and PIN

Discovery Exercise:

Read the Sanborn Maps FAQ’s and help topics first, then answer the following question.

  1. I used to have family that lived around the 700 block of Almaden Avenue, San Jose in the 1930’s. Can I get a map of what the neighborhood looked like? (Hint: use index sheet to find sheet number)

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to register your participation, and then go bid on a prize!


190 Responses to "Week 8: Sanborn Maps"

Hmmm… interesting database.

I am actually a bit disappointed the maps aren’t as detailed or they removed certain things about them. Still a very fascinating resource. The way you view the maps is also a bit disappointing. The code isn’t in Flash or any interactive format so it is slow and a bit awkward.
Good resource but awkward viewing. If someone really needs this information, it’s great!

A rather tedious database. I just don’t see how this would be of any interest to patrons. I was hoping for more information, for example what the buildings in that area looked like at the time but there were no photos or sketches. It was simply box-like shape followed by more box-like shapes, and lists of buildings materials and water resource. Not very exciting by any stretch of the imagination. It takes forever to load up (by the time you get to what you’re looking for, you’ve already “googled” info on that area and time period in San Jose history and read much more interesting articles about it).

Sanborn maps are one of the most frequently requested resources in the California Room used by business owners required by the city to bring properties up to code and by historical researchers. Since the time limit for most maps is up to 1955, the maps cover only a small part of the current San Jose city limits, and will probably be most useful for downtown San Jose, and parts of Willow Glen, Rosegarden, and Joyce Ellington areas.

If you’d like to see pictures of what buildings in San Jose looked like, here’s a link from our California Room page to Library of Congresses American Memory collection.

This one is interesting.


This database was neat because who doesn’t love maps, right!? However, it was hard to read if you’re looking for an exact location of something. Also a little frustrating to navigate. Wish I could just click and drag to move the map around.

not a whole lot of maps, be better if they had a bigger collection but cool nonetheless… probably more helpful if you are searching a major metro area.

I’m with Tracy. It wasn’t difficult to find the correct sheet with as close a date as possible, but manuevering on the page is a challenge. A magnifying glass would have been helpful.

I agree that these were a little tough to navigate through. Even using the key pages, it was difficult to zoom in to the area that you needed without losing track of where you were on the page. Would be nice if there was a way that they could lay out the maps in order, so if what you were looking were just off the side of one, you could easily find the map that would touch that edge. I know for some of the larger cities, that would take a large web page, but it would be cool to see it all laid out.

It was kind of fun looking more or less at history of some of the cities of CA, but it is kind of frustrating for people who are use to the scroll tool to zoom-in/out and the grab/ drag function. overall, its a valuable resource 🙂

I went to Sanborn Maps and clicked on the link and put in state city and time frame. when it came up i looked at index to see what page it would be on

Went on the maps and looked at SJS. Kind of cool. Thought it would have more info. about buildings.

This database, while I can see it’s use, is really hard to figure out. I finally found the correct “index” sheet and did find my map. Their jump to this page feature didn’t work though, for some reason!
Once I got to the correct map, it was interesting to see how the area looked at the time. I went and printed out the map legend, as I thought one of the feature might indicate an outhouse, but it turned out it was an elevated water tank!

Interesting information.

I agree it was a little hard to navigate through. The index doesn’t really help you either. It would be a lot easier if you could just move smoothly through out the maps. when you click on the arrows to move up and down or right and left you lose track of where you were. Other then that it was a cool data base.

I found my old house in the 1915 maps! Very cool.

It took a little time for me to find the correct database and the map with the correct address, but I did it!!!

It was interesting to see San Jose’s old layout, but I agree the database could be a little more convenient. What they could learn from Mapquest or Google Maps…

I agree that this is a very interesting database. I love maps, and it’s neat that there is a database that documents California’s history of maps. However, I also agree that it’s hard to maneuver and the information could probably be found elsewhere with less effort.

Now I know what you all mean about the scrolling! Very frustrating indeed! Good to know this is available to whoever might be looking for this type of information, though.

I love looking at the Sanborn maps! so cool!

This resouce is cool. Looking at the index sheet made this question easy to answer.

Navigating the maps is a pain but the information was interesting. Thankfully, this is not a database that I would have to use on a regular basis.

Nancy Buckles-Edenvale
Amazing database.
I found it very interesting and even more so when I looked at the legend which explained what different things on map meant.
The “jump to sheet function” didn’t work for me either.
I tried looking up my present address but found it didn’t exist in 1930.

Neat database! But a little difficult to navigate at times.

A bit slow but an interesting resource. I’m sure this is invaluable to business owners. Will keep this in mind!

An interesting database. I was hoping the maps would be more
interesting visually but, it is still nice to know that something like
this is available.

This certainly beats making a trip to the city office to get a copy from their microfiche files.


Sanborn maps in theory really great to have, but when I was on the website it was kind of hard to get around and find exactly what I was looking for. The layout is confusing but there is a lot of information but the way it was set up was a bit out of order. Overall it was a nice website.

I am familiar with the sanborn maps. Heavily used and requested while I worked in the Building department. Nice resource having it here in the library.

I think this is Priscila Gove from PA

Definitely enjoyed searching through the maps and looking at the property layouts in the early to mid 1900’s. Wish my neighborhood wasn’t so far out from downtown or it might be on the database (although, back then it was all orchards)

I found this a bit clunky to use, but really cool. I too wish that you could use a drag or scroll kind of feature instead of having to click the arrows and wait for the page to load again. The “jump to page” feature worked just fine for me.

I can understand why people would use it, but like it says in the overview, it’s incredibly rare that someone would probably ask for it. Still, a very cool resource!

Well the family may have done their laundry at the Troy Laundry Co or got their Model T’s serviced at the auto repair shop nearby. There was Woodrow Wilson Junior High on the next street over, hopefully they graduated… Nice for the structure, and the breadth of CA towns. The sketches mean we work with the view tools, at least some of the maps had the number of the next map.

wow this was really neat looking at how downtown used to look.

What can I say? I found this one labor intensive. I felt a great sense of accomplishment when I found what I was looking for.

That was fun. Surprisingly easy to navigate using the index page, although a click and drag feature might be more user friendly.

Not as intuitive as google maps, but still helpful. Interesting to look at how much San Jose has changed through out time.

I thought this database was pretty interesting; I had no idea that something like this existed. This would be very informative for anyone who would need to use it, but haven’t come across anyone who would just yet. Like others, I too found it hard to navigate through the pictures, but thought the zoom-in feature was good enough to get the information I needed.

I found the site to be interesting yet not user friendly. I am not sure if there is an option to look up by street but I never saw one, and scrolling through maps to find a street takes too long. I am sure people could benefit from using the site, just not anyone i have encountered yet.

This database was interesting. I wished the maps were easier to look at.

I found this website hard to use. I see why it is useful it is just takes some time getting to what you are looking for

User interface is not too cool. But, it’s always fun to look at historical maps of your neighborhood!

Not too hard! Very well organized. I had no problem finding the 700 block of Almaden Ave.

Ruth Kohan/Almaden Branch

This database was completely new for me, and I’m glad to know about it. I had to work at it a little but finally found the 700 block of Almaden Ave. It was fun thinking about what it must have been like in the 1930’s.

Very interesting resource, would never have any use for it though, considering I wasn’t alive in the 1930’s, just kidding. But this is a great resource for many people, such as reporters on historical local stories, or even a writer of a historical novel that is looking to flesh out a story further.

I had no idea this resource existed. It was tricky to get the images sized right to be readable and fit my computer screen. I found the map we were looking for, as well as my husband’s grandparents’ house in Los Gatos, but the results didn’t excite me much.

This was a fun database to explore. Working at WG, we get a lot of customer that are interested in the history of the neighborhood and their block. This is a great resource to show them!

I’d say, here’s sheet #94!

These maps are cool but hard to read. Someone’s got to autocad these or something 🙂

Very cool resource! I kinda enjoy the clunkiness of this database. It makes it feel like your on a hunt to really find what your looking for! I found my victorian attic apartment in 1920.

This is a pretty interesting resource. However, it would be good if the maps had a more descriptive name rather than “Sheet 1, Sheet 2, Sheet 3…”. Perhaps including the district names that each sheet contains would be helpful. For example: “Sheet 1 – Berryessa & Alum Rock” “Sheet 2 – Sunset & West Portal”) and so on.

I found the data base to be interesting, but it was hard for me to make the map fit the screen or to move it. I found it to be interesting, but could be more convienent like google. For example, finding the location by the address.

I can’t make it jump to page 94 by entering the number there. I have to use the arrow key to move to sheet 94.

Sucks. No better way to say it, and I LOVE maps. It’s slow, difficult to maneuver. Glad it exists, but it’s not very helpful.

An interesting and useful map for people to use.

Hard to read the map. Not a lot of information on it.

Can very useful to patrons.

I don’t think I’ll ever have personal use for this site, but perhaps i will someday help someone who will.

It took me 20 minutes to find the answer to this question.

I found Almaden ave, but not the 700 block.

It would be more user friendly if they put all the sheets together and just made a large map. Really hard to navigate. Would be great if you could search for an area or street.


Pretty nifty resource for getting a view of what buildings existed historically! Even looked up my parents’ house in North San Jose – it did not yet exist in 1915, but is in the 1915-1950 set. (I think it was actually built in the 20’s). In any case, the construction information is very interesting – make sure to look at the map legend! 🙂

Searching is easy, but I wish navigation used the little hand tool that other Internet based maps use.

Carol Valentine, Access Services at King. I had fun looking up my own house. Like Peggy, the earliest I found my house was in the 1915 collection. For me the challenge with all of these exercises is finding an easy route to reach the data bases. For this exercise I didn’t find an easy route using the SJPL database drop down on the home page, so I tried the library catalog and found it when I looked for “Sanborn Maps”.

The “Jump to a Page” feature did not work. It stopped at page 46. I had to use the next button to get to page 94. Also when I would click on an arrow, it would automatically zoom in, when I just wanted to see more information on the left.
I think it’s a great resouce for local history buffs, but it needs a lot of work to become user-friendly.

I think this a great resource for history buffs. I liked using the index to look for street names, that made the question easy to solve. I wasn’t able to find my street name on the index though, so I wish there was another way to search for a street name besides the index.

Oops, I forgot to leave my branch name, which is BB.

Helpful for CRM projects.

it was fun seeing how much things have changed!

Interesting database but it would be really weird if someone did want to look up this kind of information. Some people would actually find this useful I suppose.

Although the maps are not very detailed, I love the maps in this database. It is nice to be able to access old maps online. I often use to access old records and Sanborn is almost as good for document quality. In some cases, Sanborn is better than the documents on

I found the index easy to use, but I am used to using indexes for maps and other old documents. I could see how the public might have some difficulty with it. Anyone in the public that is a genealogist would be able to use Sanborn because they are used to indexes and microfiche.

Helpful to have access to historical maps on line.

A little confusing to me

Great resource for a historical research and it is good to know that there is an online access to Sabborn maps.

Interesting database but navigating the maps is a pain.

Maps are not very detailed, hard to read, wish they were bigger

Interesting resource however I find it tedious.

Very interesting to see the differences is most areas. Maps aren’t as detailed as I had expected though.

Not too hard! Very organized

It was a little hard to read the maps.

Having just done this in person with the real Sanborn maps last Friday, this was pretty easy. It requires looking through the index and lots of zooming in and scrolling to find stuff, but is worth the effort. The California Room actually has some of the 1915 maps that were printed in 1930 (with color), and those may have additional information about the neighborhood around 1930. The California room also has aerial photos taken in 1931, which would be excellent if this were a real reference question.

I agree, it was rather tedious but through trial and error I finally found the appropriate sheet number using the index sheet. Hopefully, I will at least have a starting place should anyone need to look at a historical map in the future.

Not the easiest interface, but it works. I only wish it were more comprehensive for properties and streets built post 1950. My home in Ill’ow Glen was built in approximately 1949-50 and it’s not to be found.

I agree with the previous comments regarding the interface, but otherwise, it’s always neat to see how things were in the past.

.. Nothing much to say.. Just a brief message: this database is so cool. I like it so, so much!

This is so cool. Thank you Sara for coming up with these exercises. Judith @ EB

The Maps are a little hard to navigate. It’s frustrating to look through the maps piece by piece instead of as a whole. They are not as detailed as I thought they would be and I coud not make out what many of the bulidings were.

Pretty cool website, although it took me some time to find the answer. I agree with the others how the labeling of the maps does not sound appealing.

I found the map of 700 block of Almaden Avenue, San Jose on sheet # 94, except every steps, I found that from the Jump to sheet# drop down when I chose #94, it did not pop up that sheet number. All over it is nice and interesting database.

Digital Sanborn Maps is located under the History & gEOGRAPHY Section of teh SJPL Database. The 700 block buildings, as mentioned in the exercise, can be found on sheet # 94, lower left hand corner.

urrrgh!!! nothing frustrated me more than having to look at maps 😦 The overall program annoyed me a bit because of how I ended up opening a bunches of windows everytime I chose to zoom in/out. All of those zoomings required too much works. I think it will be much better to navigate the map if the program allows you to drags and moves the map around like how Google Map did instead of having to clicks on the arrows.

Yes, we can print you a map. I couldn’t get the jump to sheet feature to work for me but it only took a few ‘NEXT’ clicks and I found sheet 94.

Interesting, to see how Downtown San Jose used to look…

The index sheet makes looking up the location so much easier. It can’t be compared with today map programs, but this is certainly very useful for research.

An interesting database.

I am able to find the Map 94, but the map is not that easy to move around to find the spot. This excise is easier than the week 7.

The maps are very small, even the writing on the maps are somewhat hard to read. Intriguing Database though.

I printed FAQ and Sanborn Map Legend so they were quite helpful when I was looking at the maps. I like the option to zoom the map which makes it easier to read. Fortunately, my eyes are still good so I didn’t have to zoom at 560%.

In 1915, St. James Park area was already been labeled as “congested District of San Jose, CA.” I was wondering what made it congested and Adrian Barrientos said that it must have been “horses and horse carriages.”

This is not an easy database to navigate. The zoom feature does not work very well to see the whole map. I figure out downloading the map will give a better view.
Based on my reference experience at King Library, I only got less than five people asked for this source at the desk. California Room might get more patrons who need help with this source.

interesting site but not the easiest to use. I enjoyed looking at the maps but thought they were lacking information

It’s good~ i liked it~

Word dawg, this is straight up gangsta if you know what I mean. This resource is definitely da BOMBZZZZ!!!! Will be spreading the word about this sick database dawg. Im out, LATE!!!!!

I found the 700 block of Almaden. It was a lengthy process and the maps were very difficult to read, but interesting.

Is it me or this one is worse than the last? I don’t like this one at all; not user friendly at all.

The maps are now easy to access. I believe in the past, you had to physically load each roll of microfilm onto equipment to find what you were looking for. I love new technology!

It is an interesting resource with valuable historical information on maps of the San Jose area. However, hard to maneuver around to get the information that you are looking. Our customers are going to need assistance from us to help navigate through maps. Maybe the company that provides this database service can find a way to make these maps more interactive and friendlier for users.

I had a difficult time to view the maps because it was so hard to read.

Week 8 – Sanborn Maps was an odd database to utilize.

Some of the maps I accessed were too ancient looking and not easy to view. =(

In addition, the actual link itself to access the database was difficult to find and I relied on the FAQs section of the site to get some tips.

This database is probably good for those interested in public work facilities, residential property, and others who may be affiliated with an organization like the fire dept or in specific ouccupational groups (i.e. construction workers).

However, my assumption is the average patron (who is at least an adult). would use this minimally in their lifespan. It is quite obvious minors would not use this unless it was like a homework assignment to do for school. Furthermore, those who do not have tech savvy skills and/or understand geographic representations/maps, will be very lost. I rather use interactive Google maps where at least clear labels, ability to zoom in/out, and other descriptions are provided.

Some valuable, interesting information in this database.

I suspect that this database is used by a relatively small percentage of the library’s customers, for a number of reasons. Budget permitting, it may be a good database to offer nevertheless, because it has a local aspect and cannot be substituted by anything similar that is freely available on the Web. The database has cool information, if one keeps in mind the maps’ original fire insurance purposes. Even though I don’t own a pre-1950 house, I find it entertaining to view in these maps, for example, the development of Washington Square from 1884 to 1950. (Global Warmists may find it somewhat interesting that in 1884 there was a carbon-friendly windmill in Wash Square that doesn’t appear on the petroleum-era 1915 map.) I don’t find this database greatly difficult to use, but it may have to undergo some changes to its interface as more people get used to (and expect) easy map manipulation and keyword searching such as that offered by Google Maps, as has been implied by earlier comments; but that’s up to the vendor. Whatever challenges this database presents, it is still more convenient for remote users interested in San José than the same maps in hard-copy format that are available in the California Room. Plus, the database includes all available cities in California.

A very useful resource but not very user-friendly.

A bit clunky to use, and the maps were a bit hard to read. It would be great to have a way to rotate the maps. I had to end up turning my head to see the 700 Almaden block.

An interesting resource, but a bit obscure. If a patron comes in and asks for dated fire insurance maps, however, I’ll eat my boots and show him to the appropriate database.

I had to have Linda help me with this database. It wasn’t the most fun one to navigate through, but I can imagine why it’s so difficult to use. I have a feeling I won’t be using this database at all.. or it’ll be our least used.

I love Google maps and my GPS much more.

If it was more like google maps it would be more convienient, being able to use the scroll wheel to scroll in and out and being able to move the map around by dragging. I know what they are trying to do. They are trying to prevent people from Saving the picture and hoping that having it cut up would deter people from doing that. They could use the same small images the same way google does with their maps.

It’s a nice resource if I don’t have a paper atlas in front of me. It’s just so slow and awkward to use that I would use a paper one instead of this one any day if I had the option of using either.

Above is the map to google maps. I found the area we were supposed to find in a matter of seconds on google maps.

That’s my opinion.

It is nice to be able to access Sanborn maps online. They are not something the average library user will be interested in, but for those who are interested in the physical history of a place they can be very helpful. I’m just sorry we don’t subscribe to the maps for other states. I would have loved to look at maps of my home town.

A cool idea but very cumbersome to use. It would be nicer to be able to zoom in and out with the scroll button on the mouse. Maps were also difficult to read and navigate.

this was cool. now I know where to go for old maps. thanks

Slower than google’s map and didn’t it say you can look at general history of the area, I can’t find the genral history of the area. Overall, don’t really know if everyone need this resource, but it’s still a great resource.

Interesting database …:)

Interesting database. Don’t think I would use it on a regular basis. I agree with others that it’s clunky and tough to navigate.

Oscar Delgado- East Branch

This could be very interesting if you needed to do research on old San Jose.


It wasn’t too hard to find the page with that block, but for some reason I had trouble opening the page. I didn’t encounter any problem opening adjacent pages. Still, it’s wonderful that these resources are available online. I remember when they were only in the California Room.

Interesting but looks difficult to find the right map.

Interesting place to see old town san jose. If only you could zoom in on the maps to take a closer look.
I hope the pizza party doesn’t included cheap costco pizza (YUK!)

it’s difficult to navigate… not interesting at all

It always useful for add’l info. Thank you.

Did I miss an email last week announcing this was up? Guess I found it in time…

Interesting service. Might have more appeal if they could supplement it with other sorts of historical maps. Those line drawings are a little dry. Some of the people looking for this type of info can get a little scary too.

Fascinating database for anyone interested in San Jose’s history before the 1950s. Interesting to note that many of the maps of those days do not include several areas of modern day San Jose such as the Tully area as being part of the city at the time.

Database itself is serviceable, but needs work. Clicking on an arrow to scroll a map is annoying and restrictive. The database maps should be mouse scrollable like modern digital maps on Google Maps; that would make tracking specific locations far easier and time efficient.

I enjoyed looking up historical San Jose and the streets. Not the easiest to use, but it’s cool.

This is pretty neat to use to look at the history layout of an area.

I found this database to be very interesting to use. It was like a puzzle that you had to solve. I never had the occasion to use it in all of the years that I have worked for SJPL. Now I know!

A little tricky to maneuver at first, but super helpful to those interested in the history and development of cities. Index navigation and zooming options are strange and somewhat difficult in comparison to Google maps.

I love maps, and customers have occasionally asked for information about the history of their San Jose property. We usually end up referring them to the California Room, but this database might be of interest.

I agree with my colleagues who say the interface is not user-friendly. It would be nice if the information was subdivided by smaller areas for easier browsing…

Another source of info that our customers will need some help/practice to use but when they see what they can get, I think the time is well worth the results.

Very cool database, but very hard to navigate. Thank goodness for google maps =)

It’s difficult to move around the map on the sheet, but once you find the street, iit’s easy to move from block to block.

It’s kind of difficult to find the sheet index at first, it’s better to make the sheet index more prominant.

Very cool.
Who knew, you could get this through the library and not in the basement of some city hall building. It wasn’t a quick process but is it ever when you are searching for dated materials?

Well, it’s not the best place to look for maps.

I love maps, but not these.. thought it would have more info. doesnt really have much unless your looking for blueprint style maps.

Great resource for researching property, I think – it’s pretty neat to look at the history of a place. I’ve shared this with grateful patrons on occasion – I think many users tend to spend a long time just digging around in this resource. Once I remembered to “Select window size for viewing” things were a tad easier to navigate.

The arrows were a bit annoying (I was looking up my house, click up, click down–keep missing it!) but eventually, I got through. There’s not a lot of information, but people use these to justify their dwellings if there isn’t a permit on file. If they can prove that there was two houses 100 years ago (or less!) they can have their buildings grandfathered in.

Looking up the key & index sheets are like the old days before the Internet. It’s tedious, but slowly I can find the map.

This is an interesting resource concept but it takes too long to find the location of interest. The index is frustrating to read because it’s such a hassle to zoom it to the proper view. The index wasn’t very obvious either so it took some snooping around to find what they were hinting about. The map itself isn’t that interesting either because they are just basic boxes. I expected more details on the houses but I guess this can still be helpful to someone out there.

Very interesting but i had a hard time looking up the maps :/

The assignment for this week is less complicated than week 7, however, it is still time consuming to locate the map; and also, the maps don’t have that many details.

this database seems boring, its also difficult to navigate

alright i’m ready for a customer to ask a rare question on property history

It seems pretty specialized but it’s good to know it’s there for those who want the information.

It’s easy to use, but I’ll probably never have to use it.

Nice to know that we have access to this

I haven’t had this kind of question yet, but it’s great to be prepared! The database FAQ sheet mentioned using the index sheets. That was very helpful. The customer’s family lived on Almaden Ave on either the block with Troy laundry or the block with auto service. Maybe there are family stories that will clarify this!


This is a great resource for customers doing historical research on their neighborhoods, as long as they are lucky enough to be looking for a neighborhood in a place covered by these maps.

I had a customer at WG who was very appreciative that the library had this database and was really thrilled with viewing and printing the maps.

kinda interesting.

Week #8 – completed.

I was not overly thrilled with this resource …. not user friendly and somewhat difficult to find what you are looking for. Maybe with a lot of repeated use, it would be easier to use. I believe this would only appeal to a small percentage of our customers.

I did the assignment and found the map for the assignment but when I tried to find my address I couldn’t find anything. I enjoyed the hunt but I’d like more detail in the maps.

The database is very interesting, and the user interface was not quite what I expected.

Kim Huynh is from East Branch

Good database ready for week 9.

It’s neat that this is available, but I agree with others who found it a bit awkward to use. And I agree more detail would be more interesting. But I see how this can be useful.
It was easy enough to find the answer to the practice question, and I looked up my own house too.

I got the map, but don’t know why people need this kind of map.

I hope I will remember this several months from now!

Its amazing to see how much the landscape has changed over the century.

Not really as interesting as I thought it might be, but on the rare occasion someone ask’s about the location of a fire insurance map, I ll know where to find the info.

This week database is much easier. The index sheet is very helpful. I just need to zoom in and find sheet #94. At first I thought the map looked like the satelite yahoomap. I agree with Justen, the label is small, and we can’t rotate the map.
I haven’t tried to look the area where I’m living. Will do at home.

It was nice to do this kind of activity… pretty neat and interesting…

It’s fun to look at the old maps and see how different things were back then, but finding a specific area was time consuming.

Evergreen Branch

Good database. I have helped customers find information by using it.

I’m excited that I found my great-great grandparents’ house!

was unable to post comment last week. found the database a great resource.

Very different tool.It’s kind of cool to see how everything used to look and the info on the site is neat too.

It was a difficult exercise.

Interesting data base, and useful.

The index page directed me to Sheet 94, and I could not open it or sheet 95. Vexing!! I did like the KEY though, and was surprised by architectural and code details it lists. I’ll have to try this again, because I have checked out the large books of these maps in the CA Room, and it would be fun to search through those again too.

Very interesting database. But difficult to handle. Would be great if zooming in and out would work easier. Hopefully the person requesting information is not in a hurry

Not the easiest thing in the world to use and I can’t really picture someone needing this kind of information but on the rare occasion that someone does, I’ll know what direction to point them to.

* Brandon Smith – BB

This Database was not very user friendly somewhat difficult to navigate. This database is still a resource therefore there is a use for it.

I was often curious about this database as I’ve used the paper maps at California Room. The first 5 minutes or so were frustrating as Ididn’t enjoy all the mouse work required to position and enlarge the maps. I was looking for a specific building, which made me persist. Also challenging was getting a viewable key list to the notes on the map.

It is always nice to know the local history with map.

I am familiar with the sanborn maps. Heavily used and requested while I worked in the Building department. Nice resource having it here in the library.

I replied under #28.

At SA I had quite a few customers asking for information about property lines and the general history of their property (perhaps a lot of new homeowners?). It can be a bit hard to navigate, but it’s a great alternative to having to go downtown to see the physical maps.

It’s a pretty interesting resource but not something I’ve ever needed to address at HB. The index did make this assignment easy but I’m sure there are a multitude of ways for this to be simpler and more interesting to navigate.

Sanborn Maps works well. It’s easy to use and find things. I wish there was better control of the zoom and pan while previewing the map though.

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