GIS and Oklahoma Highways

History Department Sponsors Hightech Way to Analyze Oklahoma's History

Select SNU students will spend time learning how to use a constellation of military satelites and computer mapping software to create maps of Oklahoma's history--at least the history travelers on Oklahoma's highways see. Dr. Dennis Williams will be leading the Oklahoma Historical Geography Survey in an analysis of the way Oklahoma history is presented through the use of roadside historical markers.

A select group of SNU students will have the task of collecting the precise geographical location of each roadside marker, the text of the marker, and a photograph. They will compile that data into a software package provided to the University through a grant from ESRI, Inc. to create precision, multilayered maps. The group will then analyze the historical geography of the state and its regions by comparing the story depicted by the cumulative historical markers with the generally accepted historical narrative.

The project will result in a paper that the students will present at the 2005 Oklahoma Historical Society meeting. The students will also submit a version of the paper for publication in a historical journal.