“Less Than What Really Happened” — Archæological and Historical Field Studies with GIS Backbones

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You are viewing a static copy of the 2009 Sunriver Conference website archived on December 11, 2013. To view current Northwest GIS User Group events and news, visit nwgis.org.

Will Rogers once commented: "It's not what you don't know that hurts you. It's what you do know that ain't so." Historical research is a lot like that. You think you have all the answers, and they just don't pan out. For a group of dedicated junior high school students in Lewiston, Idaho (USA), the challenges of learning and applying GIS software led them to discoveries they never imagined. Sometimes the search for truth takes that path. This session will discuss the 5th Street Cemetery Necrogeographical Study, a project honored by ESRI, The History Channel. The Society for American Archæology, the Association of American Geographers, the American Association for State and Local History, and the National Council for Geographic Education.

Steven Branting
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arsenic in old cemeteries

Does your community have an old cemetery dating from before 1900? And does that cemetery have a well on its property? If your answers are "yes," then you will want to make sure to attend the HIS in Education panel discussion, check out the poster session or speak with Steven Branting.

speaker's web site


Conference participants who are planning to attend this session may wish to peruse the 5th Street Cemetery Necrogeographical Study web site to gain some insight on the scope of work that can be done with students using GIS, GPS and associated technologies: http://www.lewiston.k12.id.us/staff/sbranting/5thcem/5thcem.htm

a new field exercise

Tracking the invisible, the covered, the hidden can be a difficult task. Developed in the 1960's to locate nuclear warheads and sunken vessels, "Bayesian search theory" proves to be an interesting topic for archaeological sleuthing. A new GIS lesson --- entitled "The Wisdom in GPS Crowds" --- will be unveiled to demonstrate the efficacy of independent GPS problem-solving. GPS professionals understand "averaging." See what you can do to make it come to life for students in the field.