The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway
January 22, 2012 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Driving through Time features roughly 2700 photographs and 76 interactive maps of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The website allows students, researchers, and digital tourists to uncover hidden stories, hear forgotten voices, and understand the often wrenching choices that the construction and preservation of a scenic parkway in a populated region have necessarily entailed.

In addition to making Parkway materials from several different archives available and searchable online, "Driving Through Time" includes two features that organize the materials in space as well as in time:

To the extent possible, each item included in the collection has been assigned a geographic coordinate, linking the historical document to the Parkway location to which it pertains. This allows many of the collection’s items to be found via the geo-browse function that identifies clusters of items relating to specific locations.

Additionally, many of the historic maps have been georeferenced, or aligned with their proper location on the present-day landscape, a technique that permits users to "see through" historic maps, compare past and present, and visualize how the Parkway might have looked had alternate plans been carried out. These maps are also available for download in a format suitable for use in Geographic Information System (GIS) software.
posted by netbros (4 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a great experience, until it snows.

I drove to the top once, in sunny, shirtsleeve weather, and struggled my way down in a freezing blizzard.

Nice post, thanks!
posted by HuronBob at 1:56 PM on January 22, 2012

Now if only one nice fall weekend a year they'd close it to RV's and correspondingly raise the speed limit...

(I kid because I love.)
posted by 1f2frfbf at 2:07 PM on January 22, 2012

Love, love love the Parkway. I grew up near there - driving out to look at fall foliage was a yearly tradition in our family. A great legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the New Deal.
posted by dubold at 2:27 PM on January 22, 2012

Also nthing the love for the Parkway. And I grew up near there, as well. Ravens' Roost is an integral part of my childhood/adolescence.
posted by kuanes at 8:54 AM on January 23, 2012

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