Be clear in you research question before beginning to look for map evidence.
What are you trying to discover about the environmental history of your topic?
Period: ~1860 to ~1920 Scale: Neighborhood, Town or City, Landscape Locations: Urban areas Systems Present: Urban society, transportation, economy, landforms Map Sources: Library of Congress; several smaller local collections (click for larger version) NAPP Roll: 5420 Frame: 32 (rotated 0 degrees), U. Geological Survey In the 1930s, aerial photography changed the way we view the landscape.
These images provide a real bird’s eye view, and they were used for land surveys after World War I.
One of the first things you need to ask when using maps in your research is: What kind of map will best convey or support my argument?
Your question should be narrowed to a specific period.
However, some of the systems involved in your question may operate at longer time scales.
As one of the most useful research tools in environmental history, maps use vivid, visual information to tell vast stories about place, space, and time in a relatively small format.
By peeling away the “layers” within maps, you will be able to uncover this valuable information and use it to build and support arguments in your research.
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