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Thursday, October 18 • 2:00pm - 3:40pm
Historical Cartography of the Mid-Atlantic

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Forward march! Mapping the American Civil War 150 years later
Presenter: Ben Myers
What does it take to make a map of an event that occurred a century and a half ago? And how can that add to our understanding of the past? Drawing from original, hand-written documents, period maps, and photographs, we'll use modern mapping techniques to retrace the footsteps of a regiment of soldiers who marched almost 1,500 miles through Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Resurrecting Heritage Sites: Bringing Virginia’s Past to Life through Augmented and Virtual Realities
Presenter: Alisa Pettitt, George Mason University
Copresenter: Sven Fuhrmann George Mason University
Augmented and virtual technologies provide powerful opportunities for altering how we understand and experience our surroundings. In particular, these tools can be harnessed by archaeologists, historians, and other cultural heritage practitioners in crafting narratives that bring the past to life through exciting and innovative perspectives. This research explores the creation of AR and VR applications for the interpretation of several archaeological sites in Virginia. Through the incorporation of different data types, available technologies, and collaboration with regional experts and descendants connected to these histories, this research explores the development of customizable AR and VR applications for Virginia's heritage sites.

The Historical Working Cartography of Chesapeake Bay
Presenter: John Cloud, Anthropology Dept., National Museum of Natural History
"Maps are made to be looked at; charts are made to be worked on". This presentation focuses on an array of historical charts of Chesapeake Bay or sections of it, from the 18th to 21st centuries, that will illuminate the bay and its environs, and the peoples who have worked it, via piloting and trade, agriculture, several revolutionary wars, the battles to end slavery, and the tangled trajectories of humans intersecting a great mass of oysters. The presentation could be paired in a session to presentations on the bay and accelerating sea level rise and consequences.

What is in a Name in Virginia?
Presenter: Cassandra Farrell, Library of Virginia
This presentation will review the more “unusual” place names of features in Virginia listed in GNIS. Names in Virginia range from the strange to the historic, and the historic name is not always obviously "historic". This presentation will take a look at names that have a “background” in Virginia history, and that may be anecdotal at best.

The mysteries of history that cartography can help solve
Presenter: Gene Thorp, U.S Department of State
The speaker will discuss his personal project to both build a georeferenced database of the mid-Atlantic region as it existed during the American Civil War, and to organize and plot the historical data that can be joined to it. Examining some of the base map sources used in the project, this presentation will look into the challenges posed in georectifying historical maps for digitization, and explore ways to resolve issues of contradictory cartographic data. We’ll explore how America’s physical geography has changed since 1861 and delve into what new history can be gleaned by marrying the database with historic events.


John Cloud

Anthropology Dept., National Museum of Natural History

Cassandra Farrell

Library of Virginia
avatar for Ben Myers

Ben Myers

UX Designer, Alley Interactive
Historic mapping, data visualization, American Civil War

Alisa Pettitt

George Mason University

Gene Thorp

U.S Department of State

Thursday October 18, 2018 2:00pm - 3:40pm EDT
Hampton II-III