~ Current Work ~

Crowdsourced Georeferencing Sanborn Maps

Thesis paper: "Creating a Public Space for Georeferencing Sanborn Maps: A Louisiana Case Study"

For my Geography M.S. thesis at Louisiana State University I put together an open platform that allows anyone to georeference historical fire insurance maps that are held in the Library of Congress digital Sanborn collection. There are over 500,000 scanned documents in this collection, which cover 10,000+ communities in the US.

The goal of this project is to create a space in which the public can help transform scanned maps into more reusable spatial layers, while also facilitating engagement with those maps. For the beta release, only maps of cities in Louisiana are available.


"Creating a Public Space for Georeferencing Sanborn Maps" -- NACIS 2021 - OKC

video ~ slides

"Extending GeoNode to Support Historical Map Georeferencing" -- GeoNode Virtual Summit - 2020


Online Historical Map Georeferencer (OHMG) ~ slides

While creating oldinsurancemaps.net, I designed the georeferencing components as a stand-alone app that can ostensibly be added to any GeoNode installation. Eventually, I would like to host a generic example of this plugin, for demo purposes. Adding document georeferencing capabilities to GeoNode would greatly expand the types of use cases that the system would support.

For example, a municipal government may implement GeoNode as their geospatial data hub, and then add the georeferencing plugin to the installation so that planners (or members of the public) could upload historical surveys or city maps, georeference them, and then integrate these layers into public facing web maps. Spatial data could also be directly digitized into layers managed by GeoNode.

~ Old Map Projects ~

I've been georeferencing historical maps for fun and for work for a number of years. Though the projects I've worked on are all over the place, and some no longer available online, I try to maintain and reuse the map layers here as well as possible.

"QGIS and GIMP for Enhancing Historic Maps" ~ slides ~ video

In July 2020 I presented at the QGIS North America virtual meeting about how I use GIMP to edit georeferenced historical maps.

"New Techniques for Old Maps" ~ notebook collection

For a digital humanities course in fall 2019, I made this collection of Observable notebooks to illustrate some new ideas and techniques I like to use with historical maps on the web.

Armed Forces Retirement Home, Washington, D.C. ~ web map

This was a staging ground for 2015 work I did on the Armed Forces Retirement Home implementation of Arches (afrh-iris.com).

Natchitoches Parish, LA ~ web map ~ notebook

View the many historic map overlays and custom basemaps that I created for the Cane River Heritage Inventory & Map, which is no longer maintained. These included scans of "Captured Confederate Maps" I obtained through the National Archives (see the notebook above for more information).

Vernon County, WI ~ web map

This web map features two special layers related to Vernon County: a 1967 US Army Corps of Engineers map of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve and a LiDAR-derived relief basemap that I made in TileMill.

~ Other Projects ~

Cane River Memories Interviews ~ audio

I worked with these recordings a bit for the Cane River Heritage Inventory & Map, and I've left them available here for the time being, as that project is no longer maintained.

Observable Notebooks

I use Observable a lot to create web maps--sometimes to share ideas, other times to just test out new layers.