Initial Publication Date: March 12, 2008

Historical Urban Land Use

Bill Montgomery
Topic: GIS; Environmental Science
Course Type:intro upper level


A historic land-use map or maps for your urban area (e.g., Jersey City, NJ) will be scanned and rectified to real-world coordinates. This map(s)can then be overlain with more modern maps and data sets (e.g., NJ Known Contaminated Site List (KCSL). Students will pose hypotheses to explain patterns of contamination in the context of historic land use.


Utilize high technology, observational, and critical thinking skills to develop informed hypotheses for spatial distribution and sources of contaminants in urban settings.


Development of hypothesis or hypotheses will be supported by observation / analysis of data and maps.


Historic land use maps from companies such as Sanborn; GIS-based data sets of contamination or contaminated sites from State or Federal agencies; directions for GIS-based rectification of scanned raster images from writer's web site, - the activity is number 4 within the Field Methods in Geography course.