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Check out what M’sia looked like over 200 years ago with this historical map comparison tool

Check out what M’sia looked like over 200 years ago with this historical map comparison tool

Kirat Kaur

Can you image the world in 1787?

The British Empire ruled supreme, Australia was just being established as a penal colony and giant hats were considered the height of fashion.

via GIPHY

While we may never be able to see that world for ourselves, this map by American Map Collector David Rumsey gives you a small peek into the olde world.

The David Rumsey Map Collection overlays historical maps over modern day satellite images by Google Maps and Google Earth.

Picture Credit: David Rumsey Map Collection & Google Earth

So we spent a couple of hours digitally cosplaying as Marco Polo, exploring Malaysia in 1787 and comparing it to the maps of today.

via GIPHY

Here’s some hidden treasures we’ve discovered:

Penang Island was once known as Prince of Wales’s Island

 

Picture Credit: David Rumsey Map Collection

 

Picture Credit: Google Earth

While this may not be news to most of you, it’s still pretty cool to see it on a map in comparison with modern day Penang.

National borders were more of a “suggestion”

The border between the Malaya Peninsula and the Kingdom of Siam was just a dotted line cut straight across.

 

Picture Credit: David Rumsey Map Collection

Meanwhile Borneo was just a free for all, with no separation between the areas now known as Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan.

 

Picture Credit: David Rumsey Map Collection

Names in 1787 were.. interesting

Pulau = Pulo

Johor = Jo’hr

Malacca =  Malack

Kelantan = Calantan

And Borneo was full of unusual names that seem to have disappeared from modern maps.

 

Picture Credit: David Rumsey Map Collection

 

Picture Credit: David Rumsey Map Collection

BONUS: Phuket and the surrounding islands may have been called Junkfelon Town & Islands

 

Picture Credit: David Rumsey Map Collection

 

Picture Credit: Google Earth

It’s actually really fun navigating the world through this tool.Try it for yourself HERE and see what hidden treasures you can find!

via GIPHY

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