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Atlanta Explorer
An Example in Historical Geocoding & the City
Michael Page, Geographer
Emory Center for Digital Scholarsh...
Atlanta
Explorer
Project
(modified)
1. Construct a circa 1930 historical geodatabase of
Atlanta – 1878 now in production
2...
HYDROGRAPHY
ADMINISTRATIVE
BOUNDARIES
Data Extraction
Absolute (exact buildings are matched) vs. Relative (uses street network for address
interpolation) Geocoders
Map showing ...
Students use machine learning in the
Center for Digital Scholarship to fix
errors in OCR’ed text
Opportunity: Speeds the p...
Atlanta Street Network Historical Morphology
Orange = streets added since 1928
Red = streets that have been removed
Blue =...
RULES OF HISTORICAL GEOCODER UNIQUE IDENTIFIERS
• The unique identifier is meant to always equate to a specific structure ...
Original prototype of a few city blocks centered on
Atlanta’s Flatiron Building
Incorporating
VR/AR in future
prototypes
New questions arise : How do we reconstruct the historical topography of cities?
Collective Access AWS
Michael Page
ECDS & ENVS
michael.page@emory.edu
Extent area of 3D Buildings and Terrain in Unity
Historical Geocoding and the City
Historical Geocoding and the City
Historical Geocoding and the City
Historical Geocoding and the City
Historical Geocoding and the City
Historical Geocoding and the City
Historical Geocoding and the City
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Historical Geocoding and the City

NACIS 2016 Presentation
Michael Page, Emory University
Matthew Pierce, Emory University
Alan Pike, Emory University
Jason Yang, Emory University
The Digital Lab of Emory's Center for Digital Scholarship produced a 3D geodatabase and geocoder of circa 1930's Atlanta, Georgia as part of its Atlanta Explorer Project which seeks to transform city directories and historical spatial data into geospatial tools and immersive visualizations for exploring the history of the city. This presentation discusses the methods used and lessons learned from the first phase of the project and how it has informed our strategy to produce geocoders for the years 1867-1930.

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Historical Geocoding and the City

  1. 1. Atlanta Explorer An Example in Historical Geocoding & the City Michael Page, Geographer Emory Center for Digital Scholarship & Department of Environmental Science
  2. 2. Atlanta Explorer Project (modified) 1. Construct a circa 1930 historical geodatabase of Atlanta – 1878 now in production 2. Provide the community with a historical geodatabase model and methodologies – We are now partnered with University of Sao Paulo, Brazil to help map their city 3. Create historical batch geocoders of Atlanta to build new datasets and facilitate research in Atlanta Studies - expanded the geocoder years from just 1928 to prior 1878 - 1930 4. Create an online search tool for the public – developed a 3D/VR prototype and now retooling our buildings database and models 5. Produce example data sets -- started with racial segregation now includes historical epidemiology and several other geospatial layers 6. Provide a base map data of historic Atlanta for cartographers to use – will be expanding available years to 1878 to 1930 Atlanta ~1930 Topo Sao Paulo ~1930 Topo Mosaic and Historical Overlay
  3. 3. HYDROGRAPHY ADMINISTRATIVE BOUNDARIES Data Extraction
  4. 4. Absolute (exact buildings are matched) vs. Relative (uses street network for address interpolation) Geocoders Map showing new house numbering systems, courtesy University of Chicago Student effort at Emory to digitize places and match with addresses (structures)
  5. 5. Students use machine learning in the Center for Digital Scholarship to fix errors in OCR’ed text Opportunity: Speeds the process of creating address databases that can be matched to geography; working through years sequentially reduces the amount of manual corrections Problems: Python code must be modified for each year because directories were structured differently and different typewriters were used; in some years there were major changes to street names or the numbering system
  6. 6. Atlanta Street Network Historical Morphology Orange = streets added since 1928 Red = streets that have been removed Blue = streets that exist both now and in 1928 Green = unpaved roads, alleyways, paths
  7. 7. RULES OF HISTORICAL GEOCODER UNIQUE IDENTIFIERS • The unique identifier is meant to always equate to a specific structure as situated in a specific location. • What might change year to year with a record is the box number and/or street name, and/or the person who is listed as owner or occupant. • New “structures” are always given the next identifier in sequence. If a place no longer has a building or if a street is not there (this will occur frequently as we work backwards in time) then the identifier (and record) is removed from that specific year. • It is possible that more than one unique identifier shares the same geographic coordinates across time if one structure has been removed and another erected. • These unique identifiers reflect an record (entry) in the city directories from construction to removal of the structure.
  8. 8. Original prototype of a few city blocks centered on Atlanta’s Flatiron Building
  9. 9. Incorporating VR/AR in future prototypes
  10. 10. New questions arise : How do we reconstruct the historical topography of cities?
  11. 11. Collective Access AWS
  12. 12. Michael Page ECDS & ENVS michael.page@emory.edu Extent area of 3D Buildings and Terrain in Unity

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