Stitching Together Historical Maps of Southeast Asia

There are a lot of historical maps of different areas of Southeast Asia that have been digitized. One problem that I have encountered, however, is that in many cases maps are too big to scan in one image, so people have to scan such maps in parts.

The result is that you have multiple images that you have to look at (and the place I always seem to need to see is right where one scan ends and another begins!).

white

Today I just succeeded in “stitching” some digitized images of maps together.

Recently I came across an article from the late nineteenth century that had a nice detailed color map of Siam in it. The map, however, had been scanned into 8 images.

Using the professional version of Adobe (which I don’t own, but have access to), I first cut off a white portion at the bottom of each image. I then saved each image as a TIFF file.

ice

I then downloaded the (free) Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE). It is incredibly easy to use. I first dragged and dropped the TIFF images from the top of the map, and the ICE aligned them perfectly.

I then saved this as a TIFF file, and repeated the process for the 4 images from the bottom of the map.

fullmap

I then dragged and dropped these two files into ICE and it likewise aligned them very well. This image I then saved again as a TIFF file (but it can save in other formats too), and the quality of the final map was very good, much better than the image that I have here.

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