Student Class Project (Spring 2007): Studying the Spatial Dimensions of the American Revolution in New Jersey

Class: Advanced Environmental Geomatics, 11:372:462
Class instructor: David Tulloch
Semester: Spring 2007

The students of the Advanced Environmental Geomatics class (Spring 2007), under the direction of class instructor David Tulloch, developed a new geospatial dataset of over 700 significant places in New Jersey's Revolutionary War history. The map developed by the students to display those data won three awards at the 20th Annual NJDEP Map Contest in April 2007.

Project Goal

The intent of this project, created by the Advanced Geomatics students at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, was to demonstrate the spatial dimensions of the American Revolution within New Jersey.

Data Development

The project was inspired by John D. Alden's 1945 map, 'Battles and Skirmishes of the American Revolution in New Jersey' (available through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection). Utilizing the Alden map, an extensive GIS database was developed by digitizing over 700 locations including all major battles, known skirmishes, and places of interest.

One of the challenges when digitizing information from historical maps is the spatial accuracy of the map elements, therefore in-depth research was conducted to improve the spatial accuracy of the point data, including 451 skirmishes and 13 battles rated by the students as having 'poor' spatial quality, as well as an additional 75 landmarks such as homes, camps, and military headquarters. Overall, spatial accuracy of the points were ranked as 'very good', 'good', 'poor', 'very poor', and 'very very poor'.

The Map

To visualize the digitzed geographic information systems (GIS) dataset, the students designed and composed a map entitled, 'Studying the Spatial Dimensions of the American Revolution in New Jersey'. Additionally, to better tell the story of the war, inset maps were included. These depict major general involvement and turning points in the war (to view the map, use the gallery link at right).

More information regarding the project can be found at the class webpage: http://crssa.rutgers.edu/advgeo.

Contact

David Tulloch
Associate Director, Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA)
Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture


Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA)
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
14 College Farm Road, Cook Campus
New Brunswick, NJ USA 08901-8551
Tel: 732/932-1582
Fax: 732/932-2587
Web: crssa.rutgers.edu

Web site by the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA), © 2007,2008. Page contents last updated 01/30/2008.