Georectifying the Chesapeake Bay

I rectified a map of the Chesapeake Bay, found here. I chose to go with this map because I grew up in Maryland, so I chose something close to (my previous) home! The title of this map is “A Chart of the Chesapeake And Delaware Bays”, published in 1862.

I could see this specific georectified map being used in classrooms when learning about early U.S. history. In particular, I recall an extensive amount of my own primary education including history units on the Civil War, and comparing maps such as this one (which was made during the Civil War era) to current maps could be an interesting way for students to visualize historical events in their contemporary surroundings. In this particular case, further steps could include placing oneself on the map to see how their location differs then and now.

A challenge of georeferencing (at least with this assignment) might be that the map has to be drawn in the same perspective as contemporary maps (aka a bird’s eye view looking straight down at the land) in order to line up correctly. There are also issues with language barriers (a problem I faced when looking at maps written in French), scaling (how accurate are the contours of the land, considering the lack of technologies to see land from above?) as well as ulterior motives of the map’s creator(s) which would affect what is included, excluded, exaggerated, outdated, etc.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.