Using the Google Maps Interface
The centerpiece of "Going to the Show" is the Google Maps interface. From here, you can load
Sanborn® maps from different years, view theater locations, and access
information and content about each venue. This documentation was written to help you understand
the options you find there.
If you have not already done so, navigate to the collection
From the dropdown box at the bottom of the page, select a town and click the "GO" button. The
Google Maps interface will then load in your browser, with the selected city map centered
(the image below shows a map that has been zoomed into).
Navigating within Google Maps
The interface you now see on your screen contains a variety of options that help you control what
you see and how you want to view it. The numbers associated with each item outlined below corresponds
to the numbers on the image above.
Use this dropdown menu to select one of the years for which the map was created. Since maps
were updated on a regular basis, more than one map may be available for each city.
Use this dropdown menu to select a venue within the current city. Notice that each venue
listed also includes a date: this is the earliest known year in which a movie was shown
in that location. Depending on the venue, it might have been completed in that same year,
or it might have been an edifice — such as an opera house — originally built
for another purpose.
These checkboxes toggle on and off various display choices:
Checking this box causes all locations that functioned as theaters to appear.
Depending on whether or not the theater was active during the year the displayed
Sanborn® map was created, the ticket will be either
pink or blue (see points immediately below).
- Active in 19XX
Checking this box causes all locations that functioned as theaters during the year
of the map's creation to display. These locations are represented on the map by blue movie tickets.
- Inactive in 19XX
- Checking this box causes all locations that functioned as a theater at some point in time, but
not during the year of the map's creation to display. The locations are represented on the map by pink movie tickets.
- Overlay Map and Opacity
Checking this box causes the selected Sanborn® map to appear.
The "Opacity" slider allows you to change the opacity of the map.
- Current Street Names
Checking this box causes the street names on the Google map—i.e., the satellite image over which the
Sanborn® maps are laid— to appear. Street names behind the Sanborn
® map can be viewed either by lowering the map's opacity or by un-checking
the "Overlay Map" box (see above).
These radio buttons allow you to select different sizes for the map.
These buttons switch between the city and state view of the map. Note: if you have zoomed
in on the map, you can click "View City" to return to the default view rather than using
the zoom slider (see below) to zoom back out.
- Map key
Each Sanborn® map included a key. These keys were placed on the edge of the
maps and so were not included as part of the map overlays here. Since building types were represented with the same
color from year to year, and since other signifiers also remained consistent (large numbers at the edge of a map, for
instance, refer to an adjoining map), we were able to select a single representative key for all of the maps.
This path indicates your location within the map interface. Clicking on any one of the listed locations will bring you to that zoom level.
The zoom slider enables you to zoom in and out of the map. You can either click on the "plus" or "minus" signs at each
end of the slider, or you can click on the slider handle between the two ends and zoom in and out using your mouse.
Double-clicking on the map itself will also allow you to zoom in: whatever part of the map you double-click on will be
centered on your screen. To quickly zoom out to the default screen, you can click the "View City" button.
If you zoom out far enough, you will see the "State View"—an outline of the entire state, along with markers for
each of the cities included in this collection. Clicking on a marker will launch an information bubble that lists the total
number of maps, venues, and content items (e.g., newspaper clippings, postcards) for that city.
Any of the links in the bubble will return you to the city view.
The navigation arrows allow you to move east, west, north, and south in your screen view. You can also single-click in
the screen with your hand cursor and move the screen with your mouse.
Clicking once on a venue marker—or ticket—launches an information bubble that provides information
about that venue: the name of the venue, the dates of operation, and a link to the content items (e.g., newspaper clippings,
postcards) associated with that venue. You can also zoom directly to its location on the map. Every venue is represented
by its own ticket. A blue ticket represents a venue which operated during the year of the map being viewed. A pink ticket
represents a venue which was not in operation during the year of the map being viewed.
Some towns (Wilmington, for instance), had many venues, so you will need to zoom in on the map to be
able to click on some of these venue markers.