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200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Editorial Assistance for this section has been provided by GCS Research LLC (www.gcs-research.com)

The purpose of this resource is to provide leads to some noteworthy resources relating to the Lewis & Clark expedition, and more specifically, to help understand "the past, present and future geography of the Lewis and Clark experience." Thanks to Alex Philp (aphilp@gcs-research.com) President, GCS Research LLC, for offering his advice and suggestions. Got some L&C information, maps, or a resource to share? Send details to editor@geocomm.com.

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Lewis & Clark News & Features at GeoCommunity

Two centuries ago, American President Thomas Jefferson sought a paltry $2,500 in funds. In 1803, Congress did allocate the money, footing the bill to send what Jefferson later tagged as the Corps of Discovery into territory west of the Mississippi River - beyond the western border of the United States.

Striking out the following year from St. Louis, Missouri, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led the 35-member band of intrepid surveyors on an arduous 19-month journey into strange surroundings - to the Pacific Ocean and back. Meticulous journals were kept. Landscape conditions were noted. Plant, animal life and aboriginal inhabitants, as well as waterways were among items recorded - all for the history books.

Suggested Lewis & Clark Resources

  • Lewis & Clark at ESRI.com - ESRI has helped to celebrate the 200 year anniversary of the Lewis & Clark trek by publishing a fantastic resource with numerous articles, pointers, and resources.

  • Last year (2002), TechTV did a nice video feature on the David Rumsey Collection (historical maps and Internet GIS). The entire video is 9 min, but the portion focused on GIS starts at 3:53 mark. It is non-commercial in nature, and viewable on-line at www.techtv.com/screensavers/showtell/story/0,24330,3369256,00.html,then click on "Video Highlights" icon.

  • GCS Research Project Page - Phase 1 Site to be revealed at ESRI International User Conference in July, 2003.

  • USGS Lewis and Clark - A comprehensive resource from the USGS. Visitors are presented with information about related USGS exhibits, information relating to Native Americans, and educational resources.

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service - Learn about the efforts of the US Fish and Wildlife Service as they participate in understanding landscape changes that have occurred across the intersection of the Lewis and Clark Trail and today's modern refuge system. See also: Lewis and Clark and Desoto National Wildlife Refuge

  • David Rumsey Map collection - Maplicity and HTML ArcIMS enhanced systems, and Geography Network links to map services.

  • Rumsey 3D Fly-throughs - A facinating mosaic of several historical and modern maps of the area along the Lewis and Clark Expedition route.

  • Wildlife Distribution and abundance along the Lewis & Clark trail - Andrea Laliberte, PhD Candidate at Oregon State University. Her dissertation is a spatial analysis of historic wildlife distribution and abundance along the Lewis & Clark trail, and an examination of the interaction between people and wildlife. Everything is in a GIS. There is an interactive map that allows users to click on each campsite and find out what wildlife species and how many were seen each day.

  • The University of Missouri efforts, Dr. James Harlan - ArcIMS services available showing specific campsite maps, photo-realistic images of important river landmarks, animated virtual Missouri River travel.

  • Missouri Botanical Garden's Historical Biogeography Website, hosted by GCS Research and to be expanded with species data between NatureServe, MOBOT and GCS Research through National Park Service Challenge Cost Share Funding (Note: site will have new URL shortly). Based upon efforts of Dr. Bob Coulter at Missouri Botanical Garden.

  • National Geographic Society's Primary Lewis & Clark Portal - An archive of material from National Geographic documenting details of Lewis & Clark. Also, highlights the April 2002 issue of the Magazine where it featured the work of Dr. Harlan.


    Image Source: National Geographic

  • ESRI's Schools and Libraries Program "ArcLessons"- Visit ESRI's outstanding K-12 GIS education program and download prepackaged, geospatial lesson plans dealing with various aspects of geography. In particular, scroll down to George Dailey's "Mapping the Lewis and Clark Expedition" ArcLesson, download the data set, and enjoy an excellent overview of key Lewis and Clark geographical features.

  • Columbian Gorge Discovery Center - This sites reflects the best portal for archaeological information related to the Trail, based upon work of Dr. Ken Karzminski, who has been working with MSU TechLINK, US Air Force and NASA Stennis Earth Science Applications Directorate on use of remote sensing and GIS for archaeological investigation.

  • Discovery Channel - This Discovery Channel website highlights, among other things, Dr. Karzminski's efforts and a resultant televised documentary.

  • Library of Congress Lewis and Clark Online Cartography Materials - Opening in late July 2003, they will present a century of exploration that features the expedition of the Corps of Discovery as the culminating moment in the quest to connect North America by means of a waterway passage.

  • Lewis & Clark on PBS - PBS's efforts, depicting the history of the Corps of Discovery

  • Map Bureau - Travels of the Lewis & Clark expedition in Oregon and Washington. Includes travel info and Lewis & Clark Bicentennial activities. Produced for The Daily Astorian. The efforts of Dr. Chris Goad at the Map Bureau. Deals with using SVG vs. Flash/SWF for interactive map systems utilized by browsers.

  • Lewis & Clark gNET - Peter Kiewit Institute, University of Nebraska Omaha, in partnership with National Park Service and Army Corps of Engineers. ArcIMS services are developing. The site is dedicated to supporting the National Park Service's Corps of Discovery II program during the Bicentennial Commemoration.

  • National Park Service - Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, designated National Historic Trail - March 21, 1978. The primary portal for the National Park Service's flagship Bicentennial program, the Corps of Discovery II. This three-year program was recently launched at Monticello, Virginia, the historical home of Thomas Jefferson.

  • Lewis & Clark Information System - A number of L&C tools built at the University of Montana a few years ago. The system uses MrSID and DjVU technology and SDE-IMS for the map services. Supported by ESRI, ERDAS, LizardTech, and NASA.

  • The Academy of Natural Sciences - Lewis and Clark Exhibition, where the expedition Herbarium is maintained and stored. 226 specimens are located at the Academy, and an additional 9 are located at the Royal Botanic Gardens, London, England.

  • Lewis & Clark Journals - The American Philosophical Society - Main repository for the original journals, available on Microfilm.



    Landsat 5 and black and white historical aerial photo with Lewis and Clark trail line. Blend of images show changes in Missouri River near Desoto National Wildlife Refuge North of Omaha.
    IMAGE CREDIT: GCS Research



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