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Railfan Technology > GIS and Historic Research
Date: 11/25/18 22:08
GIS and Historic Research
I frequently use GIS (geographic information systems) applications for my day job (archaeologist). Over the past year, i've been accumulating/hoarding high-resolution scans of ICC valuation maps of lines in Washington State and Oregon. In my spare time, I started georeferencing them (via ArcGIS) using the landmarks (street grids, property boundaries, etc.) that have remained constant over the past ~100 years. The result is a modern aerial overview overlaid with the now-georeferenced historic valuation map. The maps allow you to compare/contrast how things have changed and, remarkably, how sometimes they remain the same. The attached map is my most recent creation: a modern aerial overview of Pendleton, Oregon with a 1903 OWR&N valuation map overlay. I'm curious if anyone else uses GIS to satisfy their rail-related curiosities/interests.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/18 22:16 by KD7ZST.
Date: 11/25/18 22:51
Re: GIS and Historic Research
I frequently use GIS (Global Mapper or ArcGIS or AutoCAD map and often all three together) to overlay various types of geospatial data related to railroads, both current lines and
historic routes. I usually use USGS topographic maps and various types of orthoimagery (aerial photos, satellite imagery and occasionally drone imagery if available) as base maps.
I then often export the imagery for use in a GPS receiver to help identify locations on the ground. Some of this is work related and some is just plain old fun! With the advent of open
access LiDAR data in some states, some amazing detail of historic railroad lines and possible historic infrastructure is becoming available in forested areas where visual imagery is often not
good enough to definitively ID railroad grades. Eastern Oregon is a case in point.