Methodology for Extracting images from Belden's 1879 map of Goulbourn Township
also Aerial Photos of the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada area

December 4, 2005:

All of the maps of the townships in Carleton County are available in a coffee-table 
sized book printed by the Belden Company in 1879. Belden's "Illustrated Historical Atlas of 
the County of Carleton, including Ottawa" was re-printed in 1997 with the 
ISBN 0-969-8979-7-9 and was sold through . 
If you can get hold of a copy of the book, through your local historical association
or library, you can photocopy or scan the part of the map in which you are interested.
This book also includes a fair bit of historical write-up for each of the townships,
line drawings ofsome of the farms and sketches of some of the prominent persons
in each Township.

The following process can be used to decrease the size of the township maps which
have been digitized for the Internet by McGill University.

Map Source: Extracted from the Digital Map of Goulbourn Township, 1879 If you click on the link above, you will bring up the fullsize map of Goulbourn Township. The following smaller map has been extracted from the large map.
Stanley Corners, 1879
By extracting images from the larger maps, you can create a file which shows just, for example, the neighbourhood where your ancestor lived in 1879. The resulting smaller file can then be inserted into a Family Tree Maker file or into your word processor. The above smaller map shows the location of the John Tamon / Taman farm in Goulbourn Township. It has been cropped to include the hamlet of Stanley Corners, between Richmond and Stittsville, as a reference point. Stanley Corners is located on the bottom right of the above map, where "Town Hall" is marked. The digital images are large, full colour files. You can go to the url for the map you want, e.g. Goulbourn, put your cursor over the map, RIGHT click on your mouse and choose "Save picture as" to save the original map to your hard disk. You can download any graphic from the Internet to your own computer by doing this. When you have the copy of the map on your computer, you use an imaging editing program to edit the image. Since the map is full colour, you want to first make it "grey scale", the equivalent to a black and white photograph. This will greatly reduce the file storage size and can be done with one click in the image editing program. Then you use the image editing program to "crop" the area of the map which you want to extract, again with only a click of the mouse using the crop tool, the same as you would crop a digital photograph. If you have a scanner or a digital camera, you can use the software which came with it to crop the large images down to your desired size. There is also a program which I use - and it's free for trial use. It's almost as powerful as Photoshop. It's called Corel Paint Shop Pro X and you can download a free 30 day trial version. ... Al
New March 6, 2009:
Aerial Photos
Here's some good news from Gary Burns. He made a trip to the Federal Energy, Mines and Resources Department here in Ottawa, (maybe called National Resources Canada now), and has tracked down an aerial photo from 1945 showing his ancestors' farm. These aerial photos will be really useful! For example, we can locate properties for the year 1879 using the digitized Belden Maps. Then we can look for aerial photos from the 1920's or from 1945 of the same properties. This covers the time before the tremendous urban sprawl which occurred from the 1960's up to the present -- the suburbanization of the townships which are now part of the city of Ottawa. Finally, using Google maps and current aerial photos available through Google, we can see what the farm properties look like today. Here's Gary's e-mail: "Success!!!!! I got a copy of an air photo from 1945 showing the farm house. It's where the Belden map shows the house to be. Too bad for me that it's the earliest over the Byrne farm but.... they have photos from the early 1920's for much of the area. I only had 45 minutes to spend there. It's amazing stuff. You can get stereo images, and oblique photos (bird's eye views). YOU HAVE TO GO THERE! Bring change for the meter. 615 booth st.. They were so helpfull, they love their work. I won't be getting my scanner working till next week. I'll send you a copy. Al, it is like a time machine. web site is You can't view samples for that area online. You have to go there. They have ALL of the photos in shelves. Free to look at. Maybe 20.00 a pop to buy. A bargoon at twice the price. This is a really good day for me!" ... Gary

E-mail Gary Burns and Al Lewis

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