My wife bought me a copy of the newly published Atlas of Boston History for an anniversary gift. Editor Nancy Seasholes has enlisted a great team of cartographers, historians, planners and even economists to put together a well written and illustrated history. While it is tempting to take photos of some of my personal favorite maps and diagrams, in honor of copyrights I will stick to what is shown on their look inside pages. Sorry for the mediocre image quality.
The book progresses through history so a good start is the geologic setting. The two main colors represent two types of bedrock in the basin, Cambridge Argillite and Roxbury Conglomerate or Puddingstone. The green shapes are drumlins, glacial deposits smoothed into small hills. I really like the diagram below showing the layers of (mostly) glacial deposits from different eras, some from river or undersea deposits and a top layer of where the swamps and bays were filled in. This page also shows buildings and other features made from these rocks.
Here is a map showing the conflicts with the Natives of the area during "King Philip's" War.
Boston in the Revolutionary War era.
Here is a part of a map showing the Abolitionist Movement in the first half of the 1800's.
Some transit maps - the streetcar lines,
and the subway or elevated lines from 1918.
Finally, here is Boston's "racial dot map" for 2010, showing a city with a majority non-white population.
Lots more to see here. A nice holiday gift for the Bostonophile in your life.