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Mount Vernon Regional GIS Symposium for Historical Resources, Fall 2016

GIS Symposium, Fall 2016

GIS Symposium, Fall 2016

GIS and Landscape Archaeology along the Anacostia River: Geoarchaeological Study of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling

- Diego Negron & Kenneth Roy & Paula Bienenfeld, Marstel-Day; Dan Wagner, Geo-Sci Consultants; Gregory Katz, Louis Berger.

The Anacostia River was transformed in the 19th and 20th Centuries, as the river channel was dredged and the river’s lowland flats were filled. Marshland became industrial space in a relatively short span of history. Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) occupies a portion of the east bank of the Anacostia River that was once heavily inhabited by Native Americans, and in the late nineteenth century became farmland and then a military airfield. Many archaeological sites have been identified at the base in surprising settings, frequently buried beneath fill. Marstel-Day and Louis Berger recently conducted a GIS-based landscape modeling exercise to assist the base with its cultural resource management mandates. The model directly compared mapped topography in the 19thcentury with modern, LiDAR-derived elevations, and used geomorphological soil cores and trenches to refine the model and gain a better understanding of the vertical and horizontal extents of fill deposits at the installation.

Mapping Plunder in American History

- Justin Madron & Rob Nelson, University of Richmond Digital Scholarship Lab.

This presentation will focus on two maps from American Panorama: "The Forced Migration of Enslaved People, 1810-1860" and "Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America" (soon to be released). The former presents the most detailed map produced to date of the one million forced migrations of enslaved African Americans through the domestic slave trade and the migration of slaveowners and their human chattel to the lower South. The latter presents and visualizes an enormous amount of data for about 200 American cities amassed by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation in the 1930s, a process which entrenched and exacerbated inequalities of wealth between white families and families of color in the twentieth century. In our presentation, we will explore our aim to use mapping of core institutions of the American economy and polity--the slave trade and federal housing policy-- to encourage people to recognize and grapple with what Ta-Nehisi Coates has powerfully characterized as "the multi-century plunder of black people in America."

Drone 2 Map: A New Method of Data Collection

- Salim Sawaya, ESRI.

Preservation requires significant time and resources, hinging on the availability of reliable field data for project management and reporting. However, obtaining imagery of an area of interest has historically been a slow and costly process. Recent advancements in unmanned aerial systems have optimized field imagery collection and analysis, greatly reducing the time and expense incurred from collection to dissemination. These low-cost solutions enable your organization to quickly collect reliable imagery and report findings to principals. Drone2Map for ArcGIS can be used to build 3D mapping products to better understand and visualize places that need protection and conduct baseline inventories and develop preservation plans.

The Alexandria Archaeology Digital Atlas: Historical GIS in Alexandria, Virginia

- Benjamin A. Skolnik & Kurt Moser & Ank Webbers, Alexandria Archaeology, City of Alexandria, Virginia.

In 2005, Alexandria Archaeology, a department within the Office of Historic Alexandria in the City of Alexandria, Virginia, partnered with the Center for Geospatial Information Technology at Virginia Tech to create the Alexandria Archaeology Digital Atlas. Originally comprised of a scanned Civil War-period map, 1927 aerial imagery, and a geodatabase of historic features digitized from the City’s Master Plan, this digital resource has been extensively modified and added to since 2005, especially in the past year and a half with the addition of an archaeologist/GIS-analyst to the staff. This tool has become instrumental to the way archaeology is conducted in the City, from supporting the development process, to fielding historical questions from property owners, to supporting our own archaeological research projects. This presentation details the current status of the Alexandria Archaeology Digital Atlas, highlights some of the challenges associated with using and maintaining it, and presents several case studies that showcase its strengths and potential as a management and research tool.

Mapping the Plan of the City of Washington

- Pranita Ranbhise, DC Historic Preservation Office

Despite its international significance as a landmark of civic art, the 1791 Plan of the City of Washington has only now been mapped using modern GIS technology. The DC Historic Preservation Office began this work in June 2016. The mapping project has several motivations: it will support a National Historic Landmark nomination for the plan; it will improve the capacity for graphic analysis of street vistas in major building projects such as the redevelopment of the FBI site on Pennsylvania Avenue; and it will create a management tool to help avoid unanticipated degradation of the plan, as happened recently with a new apartment building that intrudes into the New Jersey Avenue vista of the US Capitol dome.

We started the project with mapping the Plan of the City of Washington (the L’Enfant Plan) to understand the component elements (avenues, streets, and various public places), historic qualities (views, vistas, and landscapes); and understanding its significance to the planning and cultural heritage of the District of Columbia. Additional historic documents, including the 1803 King Plats of the City of Washington, the 1861 Boschke map, an 1894 map, and a 1937 WPA map were used to created GIS layers which include street networks, land parcels, and shorelines for each of the years. These layers when compared with the existing street network help analyze various changes in the streets, the shrinking and expanding of land parcels, and changes in shorelines. This data will help evaluate the consistency of the historical plats with current conditions. It will also help to inspect field conditions and analyze various aspects of the plan, such as alterations and intrusions, and to identify locations where there are gaps in historic protection.

DC's Historic Building Data: The Development of a City

- Brian Kraft & Doug Pickering, JMT.

In cooperation with Washington DC’s Historical Preservation Office, JMT has been collecting historical data on the buildings of Washington DC. For nearly a decade JMT’s DC Historical Building Permits database has been a historical resource accessible to only a limited number of users. Now that data will be accessible through an interactive web based mapping application. Through this application the public will be able to view and search for historical data on buildings built before and after the range of the permits database, as well as the historic subdivisions of DC, which were digitized by JMT. This unique collection of historical data is being made available in a geospatial format for the first time and makes Washington the most well-understood major US city, in terms of its development history.