ATLAS OF HISTORICAL COUNTY BOUNDARIES
Utah and Nevada
This is a preliminary website for the Utah and Nevada volume of the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, a long-term project being carried out by the Newberry Library in Chicago. This volume is being compiled by Brandon Plewe at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Current Status (August 2002)
The historical state and county boundaries for Utah and Nevada (and several
other states and counties that have overlapped them at some time) have been
completely built in a historical GIS (Oracle 9i w/ ESRI ArcSDE) called the
Geo-Historical Information System (GHIS). The GHIS data model has been
developed to be flexible (handling many kinds of features), temporal, uncertainty-savvy,
and able to document and describe every piece of data. A journal article
on the subject is forthcoming.
A historical database of Utah cities and towns has also been entered into
the GHIS, with settlement/abandonment dates, incorporations/disincorporations,
and county seats. Nevada towns have been collected, but not yet entered
into the database.
I am also developing an interactive online map based on the Scalable Vector
Graphics (SVG) standard. The map has a live connection to the database,
allowing for further interaction. You can try two prototype products,
if you have the Adobe SVG Viewer:
- Interactive Atlas.
Click on the legend to turn layers on and off, zoom and pan, or enter
a date to see the state of the world. I presented a paper on this to the Carto.Net/SVGOpen conference in Zurich in July 2002.
- County Animation. An experimental (i.e. not intended to be pretty) use of animation to show the history of any county. These are large, and not recommended for dial-up connections. Click
on the red square to start or re-start the animation. Here are a few
sample counties (edit the URL to show any others):
The project is not yet complete. Following are several plans for the future (in no order of schedule or priority):
Last modified 12 Aug 2002
- Compile the data into a manuscript for the published volume of the Atlas
- Enter Nevada towns
- Enter population and name change data for towns
- Integrate animations into online atlas, with timelines
- Involve change events in the online atlas, as description displays and queries
- Make raw GIS data available for download
- Begin development of a general print/online historical atlas, the Atlas of Utah's Past