[APG Public List] mapping and research

Michael Hait michael.hait at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 1 11:04:32 MDT 2010

I use historic maps in nearly every project.  But these historic maps do not have latitude/longitude on them usually.  I also use land records in nearly every project, which allows me to place the land on the maps (at least in a general sense).  My point is that discovering the general location (especially when dealing with a 200-acre farm) is an important step, but pinpointing the exact longitude/latitude seems like an extraneous step that does not add anything to the research.

I look at it this way – location of a piece of land is important for the following reasons:
- records jurisdiction
- relation to topographical landmarks
- distance to county courthouses
- distance to nearest town
- location of nearest church
- identities of neighbors
- identifying possible migration routes (through relation to bodies of water, historic trails, etc)
- (and of course other more creative uses I am sure)

All of these tasks, however, can be completed using historic records and historic maps, including identifying topographical landmarks, etc.  But how does taking the extra time and effort to pinpoint a precise latitude/longitude provide additional USEFUL information, not covered by the historic records/maps?

Michael Hait
michael.hait at hotmail.com

From: L. Boswell 
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2010 12:50 PM
To: Michael Hait ; apgpubliclist at apgen.org 
Subject: mapping and research

sorry, forgot to change the subject in that last one. 

Good point John, and GPS coordinates mean much the same thing (I just like to remind people that this isn't based on something new!)

Michael, got to thinking here.  How important is mapping and the use of maps to you in your research?   I barely move without referring to a map when I working on a file.   More likely multiple maps.  If your answer is "pretty important" than the use of coordinates is simply going to be a good tool to have on hand.  If you never work with maps, then I can see your point.  But I don't see how I could do effective research without referencing things to a location on a map of some sort

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