Ever wonder what books were set in your hometown? Or where iconic scenes from your favorite novels actually took place? Now you can find out through Placing Literature—a crowdsourced website dedicated to mapping the geographies of classic books. Since the site launched in 2013, readers, authors, and educators have contributed information on close to 3000 literary locations around the world.
An updated version of the site just re-launched last week, which makes it easier for users to browse by location, author, or title. Using the same kind of map and drop pin system as websites like Google Maps and Yelp, users can zoom in and out, and see how many entries there are for a given location. They can also add information and contribute missing books.
The site makes it easy to take a virtual tour of a city’s literature or of an author’s work. You can wander through the New York City of authors like Woody Allen and J.D. Salinger, or look up Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle to take two distinct tours of 19th century London. The site brings real-world geography to works of fiction, and draws fascinating connections between authors by virtue of their shared settings. It’s a great educational tool, and the perfect starting point for anyone interested in taking a literary walking tour of their city.