I have a set of 10 hand-drawn maps from the 1930's that all appear to have the same carbon-copied basemap (the streets and shorelines look identical). They were scanned from Arch D size linen paper so I'm not expecting them to line up perfectly but I should be able to georeference them all to each other (without too much distortion) to compare the data on each.

Then I'd like to georeference the entire group to a current OpenStreetMap. I don't have the projection or scale they're drawn to (there is a bar but I only have the scanned copies) but its really more important that I compare them to one another than to the current map.

I'm using ArcGIS Pro Georeferencing tools but it might be more effective to leave geography out of the mix altogether and just match them on street intersections (there are 50+ clean, right angle intersections) before bringing them into the GIS (not sure if this is even possible).

Any thoughts on how to accomplish this?

1 Answer 1


I would suggest doing it the other way around. If you're going to align them to each other then pick the best one and georeference that first, then georeference the rest to that.

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