Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Looking into the Past with GIS

If you have any interest in how GIS can help uncover the historical story of Iowa, you might be interested in this project made available through the Office of the State Archaeologist.

Based off an 1837 hand drawn Native American map, archaeologist Mary Whelan used GIS to make a more spatially accurate map showing Native American villages, sites, and travel routes. The page points out that with settlements and travel routes mapped out, GIS can assist with identifying potential discoveries.

Looking at the two maps next to each other you can start to make out the relationship between them. With some of the distances seeming inaccurate, the land marks seem very accurate. Maybe distances are not a priority of this map?

The history behind the map highlights the importance what maps often do, communicate knowledge between people. The map and story are worth a read.

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