Bird's Eye View of the City of Atlanta, the Capitol of Georgia, 1871


This panoramic map shows Atlanta, Georgia, as it appeared in 1871. The town sprang up at the confluence of the Chattahoochee River and Peachtree Creek; it later became a railroad settlement, located at the intersection of the Western & Atlantic Railroad and the Georgia Railroad. The capital of Georgia was moved to Atlanta in 1868. The importance of the railroad to the area is evident in this map, which shows a view looking northeast over the city. The railroad depot (Union Depot) is visible near the center of the image, with several trains traversing the rail lines running through the city. Streets, homes, and industrial buildings sprawl out from the depot and into the surrounding hills. An index at the bottom of the map indicates points of interest, including the state house, city hall, the Governor’s mansion, schools and colleges, houses of worship, U.S. barracks, the gas works, freight offices, and various industrial facilities (foundries, mills, an iron works, and a brewery). The panoramic map was a cartographic form popularly used to depict U.S. and Canadian cities and towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also known as bird's-eye views or perspective maps, these maps are representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. Not generally drawn to scale, they show street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features in perspective. This map is by Albert Ruger (1829–99), the first American to achieve success as a panoramic artist. Born in Prussia, Ruger immigrated to the United States and worked initially as a mason. While serving with the Ohio Volunteers during the Civil War, he drew views of Union campsites. After the war, Ruger settled in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he began his panoramic mapping career by sketching Michigan cities. In the late 1860s, Ruger formed a partnership with J.J. Stoner of Madison, Wisconsin, and together they published numerous city panoramas.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

A. Ruger, St. Louis


Title in Original Language

Bird's eye view of the city of Atlanta, the capitol of Georgia, 1871

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 52 x 71 centimeters

Last updated: March 30, 2016