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Bawdy Trade in New Orleans, 1840s-1950s: Map Files and Instructions

Guide presents a bibliography, recommended reading and research resources, and instructions for using three Google Earth maps (.kmz files) containing images, links, and annotations of locations related to prostitution in New Orleans, 1840s-1950s

Map Files

Step 1: How to Get the Maps

This resource is made up of three separate Google Earth map files in the .kmz file format. Two of the three are located in the Map Files box to the left of this box, however, all three of the files together are too large to be hosted on this system. All three of the files can be downloaded from this location.

  • You can download all three files (or just one) and open Google Earth Pro before selecting "File" and then "Open" to view the contents of each file on your desktop version of the program.
  • There is currently a Google Earth Web, accessible through the internet, that will also allow you to view the files, but it currently does not support images, so the numerous images included in the notations for each pin will not appear. 
  • Need Google Earth Pro on your desktop? It's great software. Download it for free.

Step 2: How to Open the Maps

Upon opening the files, there will be two control panels at the left hand side of the screen. The top panel controls which layers are visible on the map.

  • To view the contents of one map at a time, make sure that only the box for that folder is checked; folders will be titled according to the publication year of the map overlay used for each period: mid-nineteenth century (pre-Storyville), late nineteenth and early twentieth century (Storyville), and early-to-mid twentieth century (post-Storyville). Associated maps are from 1854, 1884, and 1949, respectively.
  • To view all three maps' content at once, click the checkboxes next to all three Map Overlay folders (contents for pins are contained inside each folder).

Each period has a separate map overlay both because street names and numbering have changed over the years as well as to give a sense of historical context. Many pins also include map details with existing structures labeled with varying degrees of granularity to communicate a picture of what the city was like at specific points in its history. Some pins also include links to related online resources.

How to Decode the Maps

Each period uses text of a different color to label each pin or polygon indicating a site of interest. Pins and polygons are color coded. 

  • Pre-Storyville labels are in yellow text, Storyville labels are in white text, and post-Storyville labels are in lime green text. Colors of text labels were chosen for maximum contrast with the color of the map overlay.
  • Pins are categorized according to color. Red pins represent brothels or events directly involving prostitution. Places, people, or events are marked with pins that are green/blue (color will vary from monitor to monitor). Yellow pins are locations not necessarily (or uniquely) related to prostitution but which help create a picture of prostitution within the daily life in New Orleans during the period associated with each map overlay.
  • References appear in each pin's notations for factual historical content and for image credits. The bibliography for the maps appears on the Home tab of this research guide.
  • There are a few pins beyond the borders of each historical map overlay, so be sure to pan out if you would like to view all mapped items.