A GIS Approach to Document the Transition from Slave Plantation to University in Prairie View, TexasPublic Project active 1 year, 5 months ago
The current place known as Prairie View A&M University went through a number of transitions. These include slave plantation, the Alta Vista Institute for young ladies, Prairie View Normal and Industrial School and currently Prairie View A&M University. As it relates to digital humanities, the research team aims to use a Geographic Information System (GIS) to create a geodatabase of historical socio-economic factors in order to better understand and document how Prairie View community (Alta Vista Plantation) transitioned from a slave plantation to a university. In doing so, the researchers hope to understand how people in Prairie View lived before and after slavery. A GIS is an ideal tool for representing time related data. It facilitates the transformation of static information into interactive products suitable for understanding and modeling spatial data. Historical maps will be digitized and analyzed to reconstruct the Prairie View landscape in order to understand how insurance, taxes, building footprints, parcel boundaries and other related data shaped the space that eventually became Prairie the University. Project activities will include the creation of layers (feature classes) of the socio-economic factors and other important features to create map overlays that will demonstrate how the landscape changed over time.
The project will be divided into two phases. In phase 1, ArcMap 10.x desktop software will be used to digitize maps, create layers, conduct analysis and create timelines. Phase 2 will involve the use of ArcGIS WebGIS tools to create a timeline and story maps that will be used for interaction with users. Phase 2 will be the primary means of disseminating project results to the public.
The project will be carried out by an interdisciplinary research team of faculty, staff and student researchers from the College of Agriculture & Human Sciences, the Department of Languages and Communications, the Division of Social Work, Behavioral & Political Sciences and the John B. Coleman Library. Students will gain valuable experience in the collection, analysis and presentation of spatial data. Researchers and the academic community will gain from the scientific knowledge and sharing that will result from conference presentations, published papers and other scholarly project activities.
Goals: 1. Digitize historical maps of Prairie View A&M University, Texas and its environs for input into ArcGIS 2. Utilize ArcGIS tools to create an interactive timeline to demonstrate how land use and building footprints changed as Prairie View transitioned from a plantation to a university 3. Create story maps using esri software to associate historical maps with reports and narratives.
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