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Oslo: Before and now


See the historic 3D tour of Oslo – and a treasure trove of old maps and photographs

The Norwegian capital is changing rapidly. To see how it once was, try virtually walking the streets of 100 years ago. Also, explore these hundreds of old pictures and maps.

Oslo is a city in rapid development. Few, if any, European capitals are growing at such a fast pace.

Wonderful plots along the waterfront, which until recently were full of containers or heavy traffic, are now opened up for the public. Old industrial buildings along the Akerselva river have become hubs for nightlife and culture.

Bjørvika, Oslo
Bjørvika, Oslo.
Photo: Widerøes flyveselskap. Oslobilder.no, CC BY-SA 3.0

Fortunately, the old Oslo is also preserved. But change is inevitable. Also, change is very exciting when you can look back on it, to explore and compare.

The travel agency Expedia.no have made a historic 3D tour of Oslo where you can do precisely that. By posting historic photos as overlays on Google’s street view data, they let you see the historic streets in contemporary surroundings.

“Explore how Oslo has changed over time by virtually walking the streets of Oslo now and 100 years ago,” the website says.

Sørenga, Oslo
Sørenga, Oslo.
Photo: Unknown. Oslobilder.no, CC BY-SA 3.0

Another fantastic resource to look back on Oslo’s past is the website Oslobilder.no. Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of old (and newer) photographs of Oslo, gathered from various archives and collections. It’s in Norwegian, but you might find it fascinating nonetheless – or simply run it through Google translate.

And finally, some happy news for the map nerds: The Norwegian Mapping Authority has just published hundreds of old maps that were previously classified due to military considerations. You can browse through them here (Google translate) – not just maps from Oslo, but from all of Norway.

Stortinget, Oslo
Stortinget, Oslo.
Photo: Anders Beer Wilse. Oslobilder.no, CC BY-SA 3.0

For those that are more interested in looking forward, you can just take a walk through the centre of Oslo – where new and amazing architecture is on display in every phase of construction, from newly broken ground to completion.

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