NUS Libraries is pleased to present Historical Maps of Singapore, a website providing the viewing of 31 sets of maps scanned and georeferenced by the Department of Geography, with publication years ranging from 1846 to 2010. The Singapore Land Authority and Ministry of Defence have kindly provided permission for these maps to be viewed online.

Use Cases

Singapore underwent rapid urban transformation, from a colonial settlement to a global city between the 19th and 21st Century. This changing landscape represented through georeferenced maps may interest social scientists, urban planners, landscape ecologists, historians and more. This website allows the viewing of maps using web browsers. It also allows these maps to be “pulled” into Google Earth, QGIS or ArcGIS as layers via web services. Researchers would therefore be able to leverage on the vast analytical and visualisation tools available in each GIS software to study spatial patterns and phenomena over time.


The maps are arranged as a list of layers, sorted by publication year. The layer visibility can be toggled via the checkbox to the left of each layer name.

To navigate, drag mouse/use arrow keys to pan, or scroll mouse-wheel up/down to zoom in/out. You can also enter a present address in the search box to zoom the map to that particular location. This website is best viewed on a desktop web browser.


To access tools, click Menu icon to beside layer name:



  1. View in…View the map in your favourite GIS applications such as QGIS, ArcGIS, Google Earth, or other applications which support WMS. Please note viewing is provided via web services and no raw data is downloaded in the process.
  2. Transparency: Adjust the transparency of a map to compare with the next visible map underneath.
  3. Layer Swipe: Swipe to compare a map and the next visible map underneath.
  4. Metadata: Find out more about provenance, citation and other information pertaining to each map.

For detailed help, click on the “Help” link at the top-right corner of the website.

Terms of Use

Since the maps are produced by different parties, please ensure that you have understood the “Terms of Use” (link located at the top-right corner of the website). Please also note that the maps on this website are neither suitable for fine-granularity precision positioning nor navigation.

Talk by Map Historian

Keen to know more? We have invited freelance map historian Mok Ly Yng to give a talk on the brief history of the current set of maps and the production background of selected significant maps. Selected map examples will be used to demonstrate the basic functionalities of the web site for general map enthusiasts and advanced map researchers alike. The event will be held on 16 May, from 2pm to 4pm in Central Library, NUS, and attendance is by registration only.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *