Jul 27, 2011

Digital Maps Are Giving Scholars the Historical Lay of the Land

(NYTimes) Few battles in history have been more scrutinized than Gettysburg’s three blood-soaked days in July 1863, the turning point in the Civil War. Still, there were questions that all the diaries, official reports and correspondence couldn’t answer precisely. What, for example, could Gen. Robert E. Lee actually see when he issued a series of fateful orders that turned the tide against the Confederate Army nearly 150 years ago?
Now historians have a new tool that can help. Advanced technology similar to Google Earth, MapQuest and the GPS systems used in millions of cars has made it possible to recreate a vanished landscape. Continued

Photo: Sketch map of the battle of Gettysburg, made while on the march toward Frederick, Md. / E. Forbes, July 8, 1863 (Library of Congress).