National Geographic and Google are trying to recreate the thrill of cracking open one of the magazine's signature paper maps, but in the digital world. A new project puts more than 500 of National Geographic's 800 historic maps online using Google's Maps Engine platform.

"People have collected our magazine fold-out maps for over a hundred years."

"People have collected our magazine fold-out maps for over a hundred years, and many of those maps are sequestered away in attics and garages," Frank Biasi, the director of digital development at National Geographic wrote in a Google blog post announcing the effort. Biasi added that National Geographic will also offer high resolution versions of the maps for sale and through licensing deals, where the works could end up in "travel and home decor businesses." That's on top of existing sales of paper maps, as well as digital versions sold as paid apps on Apple's iOS platform.

The new mapping layers can be found within Google's Map Engine directory. Google's also posted one of medieval England and another of the Dominican Republic, which you can see here.