How to plot historic country data (USSR, East Germany, etc) in GoogleMaps?

I'm building a series of infographics using Fusion Tables to show yearly data for countries, each nation represented by a pin on Google's map, the data values visible when you click on the nation's pin. I've got the contemporary values working perfectly, but:

My data goes back 80 years and I'd like to allow users to view historic data for non-existant countries like USSR, East / West Germany, etc.

Are there "archive" world maps that I can use when uploading historic data to Fusion Tables? (eg, world map for 1988, world map for 1934)

If not, I can simply use the contemporary map and select pin locations to approximate the old countries, but it wouldn't look so good. I'm neither sufficiently clever nor able to invest the time to create new world maps - I figure someone must have had this problem before now, but I can't find anything.

Any suggestions gratefully appreciated.

Best, T.


If you can't find what you need on GeoCommons, this site provides a tutorial for creating your own GIS data sets from map imagery, if you're willing to put the work into it. It requires you to install ArcGIS Explorer (it's free, don't worry). There are numerous sources of historical map imagery that you could use, such as this one for Russia.

I would also back up geocodezip in that using KML is probably the easiest way to get a GIS data set onto a Google map, and a lot of GIS applications (like ArcGIS) support it.

You can overlay older maps on top of the Google Maps tiles. This is probably the easiest way to achieve what you are looking for.

See the overlays documentation -


Also there is a number of tools to help do this. I just did a simple search for Google Maps Tiles Overlay Generator. - First one I found:

you can use the styling parameters to theme the map to look a little older, probably removing labels for pois, roads etc.

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