After a great deal of work, and experimenting with different methods of displaying the data, I have completed phase 1 of a new historical map page. It currently has over 100 maps (Scanned PDFs, Geo-Referenced PDFs, some scanned map images, and some photos of maps from the University of Oregon library collection). You can see the page from the link on the maps page, or go directly there:
I would be interested to hear feedback on how well this format works for you. I tried to organize the information so it was easy to find what you were looking for, and also easy to incorporate new maps in the future.
Paul Turner said
Looks good, when I first looked there were broken links but everything seems to be OK now. Nice collection of stuff - thx for taking the time to organize and make available. I'm still digesting...
Yea, I messed up the links at first, but I fixed them. You helped contribute to the collection. I replaced some of your photos with the actual map scans that I found on the USGS site. I just wish I could find some older 24k quads. Most of them are pretty recent.
I will be digesting these for quite some time.
I have been experimenting with a new format to utilize the old maps. With feedback from several people here, and quite a few iterations, I have come up with a map of the district that is somewhat interactive (you can't pan and zoom like the trail maps). You click on an area you area interested in researching, and a list of all the historical maps that cover that area will come up. From that results page you can either click on any of the maps listed (which will open in a new window so you don't lose your results), or you can return to the overview map to select a new area. Thanks to Kirk and Brian, we now have almost 2/3rds of Paul's map images classified into one of 9 "zones" (NW, North, NE, West, Center, East, SW, South, SE). I also have the complete 1966 Metsker maps for the district (all that were made), and a few of the 1937 map series. I will continue adding to the Metsker maps and am hopefully going to be getting more scanned historical maps in the next month or so which I will add to the collection. If I can secure a scanned map of an existing map that has images, I will replace the images with the scanned map.
Here is the page if you want to take a look at it:
As of today, we have 431 maps or images cataloged on the page. I think this is a much more useful format to display the information. Hopefully a few people will find it useful. It is a great way to waste time!
Once I complete this project, I may offer DVDs of the maps and page so that you can have it locally rather than have to do it all online. The high quality scan images are rather large, and if you are looking at a lot of maps, it is much faster to have the images locally.
Let me know what you think.
The final updates to incorporate all of the map images have been completed. There are now a total of 590 images and maps cataloged on the page. At this point, the bulk of the work is completed, however over the coming months there will be additional Metsker maps added to the list - approximately 10 maps per month until all the available maps are added. I'm hoping to be able to get real scans of some of the older Mt Hood National Forest maps as well - to replace some of the images that are currently there as well.
I will post additional updates if/when the additional maps are added.
A bit of an update - I have received the additional maps, and will be uploading them and updating the page with them over the course of the next few weeks. 31 additional maps! After that is done, I think we will have a very complete record of maps of the district. In addition, I got scans of the skyline/PCT trail routes from 1921-1969 which are very interesting to see all the re-routes. Those will be getting posted separately. Lastly, I also had the reverse sides of some of the maps scanned - these are interesting for historical content. Those will be getting posted separately as well.
I am considering offering DVDs of the maps (probably have to be at least 2 DVDs due to the volume of content) for sale as a way to recoup some of the cost associated with obtaining the maps, and also to recoup some of the cost of running the website. If anyone is interested in this option, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have uploaded the new maps and have updated the selector page to point to the new maps, removing the old photo images. I haven't completed my testing yet, but I think everything is in place now.
The only thing to be aware of is that these new maps are VERY large (150MB+ per map). For all of them, I created maps that only cover the Clackamas district, but also left a link to the full map. The ones that only cover the Clackamas district have "cropped" at the end of the name.
If you are really interested in the maps, it is recommended to get the DVDs with the maps on it. If you are interested in some DVDs, please send an email to email@example.com. I will be working on getting that setup soon.
I spent some time this morning updating the maps page and the "old" historical maps page to reflect the new scanned maps (instead of referring to the old photo images). So, there are now two options to view the new maps:
- Old page - which just lists the maps by type (24k, 62.5k, Mt Hood National Forest Maps, etc)
- New page - which presents a map and when you click on an area will display all the maps that cover the area you clicked on. This map also contains links to cadastral and Metsker maps.
So, however you like to view maps, you should be able to get your fix now. Although I think most people who are interested have already responded, I'll put in another plug for the map DVDs. If you are really interested in the maps, due to the large size of many of the scanned images, it is highly recommended to get the DVDs with the maps on them. If you are interested in some DVDs, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The requested donation is $20, and any additional donations on top of that are appreciated. All donations will go towards the costs of the map scans and also towards the operational costs of maintaining this website.
For those of you interested in the history of the Skyline Trail, I also updated that page with the scanned images of the Skyline Trail/PCT from 1921 to 1972 - there are 10 maps in all - it is very interesting to see all the re-routes of the trail over the years.
I have been experimenting with some tools to create online maps from the new historical map scans. I'm still experimenting, but I thought I would post a sample for those who are interested:
This is a test page that lays down a current topo map and then overlays the 1938 historical map on top with variable transparency. There is a slider in the upper right that allows you to adjust the transparency, and also allows you to select different base maps (terrain, aerial, etc). I'm still experimenting with things, and learning how all the online map stuff really works (there is a ton to learn). But, the good news is that I'm making progress.
Let me know what you think of this test map functionality.
I still have to figure out how to correct the "shift" in the overlay - it has to do with the map datums used on the old maps compared to today. You see the same thing on the older USGS maps on the gmap maps when you compare them to a newer map (like myTopo maps).
The other thing I want to try and figure out is to make it so you can select which maps to use as the base and overlay maps. I sort of have options to pick the base map, but I would like to expand that, and then have a drop down to select which historical overlay to use. It is rather slow work, since it is all experimentation (try something different, render the maps, then see how it works), but it is interesting and very useful I think.
Thanks for the feedback. Stay tuned.
All I can tell you it is has to do with some very complicated math (there is a LOT of math used in maps). I do know that the farther west you get, the worse the drift is. What I did when I referenced the map was to use the coordinates of (mostly) the corners of the map.
122 30' 00" 121 00' 00"
45 30' 00" 45 40' 00"
122 30' 00" 121 00' 00"
44 40' 00" 44 40' 00"
Those were the 4 corners I used to do the georefererncing. The upper left is south a bit because that is where the map legend was, so I took the northernmost point I could reference. I may try and reference by some other unique thing, like peak or something. Or maybe I will try and reference via section lines, but I'm not sure that will be correct, since the datum is different. I'm just going to have to experiment.
If anyone has experience in georeferencing maps and/or converting from NAD27 to WGS84, I would greatly appreciate any assistance. This is ALL new to me and I'm trying to learn as I go.
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