Student interns from Calumet and Houghton High Schools, under the guidance of faculty, staff, and students of the Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab and the Keweenaw Time Traveler team recently launched a new WebGIS for the Calumet and Laurium region.
The map can be found at www.calumetmap.com
The map integrates information collected by the student interns from 2017 and 2018 and integrates it with state, local, and Keweenaw Time Traveler datasets.
The WebGIS is the beginning of a multi-year partnership between many local organizations including MTU Social Sciences, Western UP Planning and Development Region, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, Keweenaw National Historical Park, and local municipalities to create a regional GIS for local planning, economic development, heritage management, tourism, and health promotion.
The WebGIS is an output of the NSF-funded Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers, "GRACE- GIS Resources and Applications for Career Education” project. GRACE is a collaboration between MTU's Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab, Eastern Michigan University's Institute for Geospatial Research and Education, and Michigan Virtual University, to bring GIS technologies to Michigan’s high school educators and intensive community-based internship experiences to high school students. You can read more about the GRACE Project on our website.
What should I bring?
Bring your memories! All you need is a short story and some enthusiasm and we will help you do the rest. One of our Time Traveler team members will make an audio recording of you telling your story, and then help you add it to the Keweenaw Time Traveler Explore App (learn more about the Explore App here). You can locate your story on a historic map—maybe at your grandmother's house where she taught you to make her special crust or at your favorite local pasty-maker. You can also include photographs to illustrate your story. Either bring a digital file on a thumb drive or bring the photograph and we can scan it for you (We'll even give you the high resolution digital file to keep!) Plan to spend about 10–20 minutes sharing your Pasty Story. After that, internet users will be able to enjoy your story and leave you feedback. We will also work with the StoryCorps app to share Pasty Stories with a national audience!
This program is a fun--and tasty!—way to #MapYourHistory with the Keweenaw Time Traveler. Can't wait to hear your Pasty Stories!
Research Associates from the Human Environments Spatial Analytics Lab and the Keweenaw Time Traveler project worked this weekend with Dr. Tim Scarlett (MTU Social Sciences) and others at the Quincy Smelter Works to highlight for MTU Alumni how we use remote sensing and GIS to support the preservation and interpretation of industrial heritage sites.
The research team is using a suite of geospatial technologies—including Ground Penetrating Radar, LiDAR, Photogrammetry, Thermal and spectral imaging, among others. HESAL staff built an web-based Historical GIS (see links below) to document how the property has changed over time, help the scientists examine the remote sensing and geospatial data, enable digital exhibitions and tools for public education, and help the site managers make wise decisions about the vast cultural resources at the site.
Even if you missed this event, you can explore old maps of Quincy Hill on the Explore App right now. Or, next time you take a tour of the Quincy Mine Hoist Association, you can use the Keweenaw Time Traveler kiosk while you wait to get on the tram. Drop a point and share a story! This easy-access touch-screen will be at the Mine Hoist all season.
Are you among the hundreds of Time Travelers who have submitted story points to the Explore App? Have you been planning to share some stories but want more options? Either way, we have good news. Improved options for sharing stories on the Explore App are now live!
The new "Share Story" button is easier to find (see above!). You can still choose a location and a year on the Time Traveler's historic maps, and tell stories about anything — from your grandmother's pasty recipe to your childhood sledding memories. As always, you can illustrate your story with photographs. Now, you can also include audio and video files! We improved the interface so you can easily see your uploads and edit them as you go.
This updated interface was team-built by Michigan Tech students in Dr. Robert Pastel's Human-Computer Interaction class. The students met with the Keweenaw Time Traveler directors and research associates, heard about our need to enhance the capability of the "Share Story" feature, asked a lot of good questions, and got to work. Assessment of their drafts was conducted by graduate students working with Dr. Karla Kitalong in Michigan Tech's program in Scientific and Technical Communication. Just like the Keweenaw Time Traveler itself, interface updates and data additions result from great team work between faculty and students across the university.
Want to learn more about getting started with the Explore App? Check out these earlier blog posts about the Explore App's capabilities and the How-to Videos. You can also go directly to the HESA Lab's YouTube Channel.
Here's a shared story about Michigan's Oldest Woman who lived at 212 Iroquois Street in Laurium! What kinds of stories will you tell?
The Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab is hosting our third class of GRACE Interns. GRACE (GIS Resources and Applications for Career Education) is a NSF-funded collaboration between Eastern Michigan University and Michigan Tech that aims to introduce high school students to STEM fields through geospatial technologies. We have 13 Interns from Houghton and Calumet High Schools, and this year, we are conducting fieldwork in the Village of Calumet.
We take our Interns through each phase of project design beginning with conceptualization. The Interns initially develop themes related to urban design and planning. Within these broader themes, they narrow down related concepts and move to asking questions such as:
This summer's project is to build a municipal webGIS for the Village of Calumet. David Geisler, the Village of Calumet President, and Leah Polzein, the Director of Main Street Calumet, met with the Interns to help them better understand the economic, social, and heritage needs of the community and how a robust GIS can assist in the Village's planning, management and grant-making.
The Interns are mapping elements within the community such as street lights and sidewalk conditions. During the first 2 days of fieldwork this past week, the Interns have already mapped over 740 points and digitized over 4,000 polygons! Stop by and say hello if you see us out on the street the next couple of weeks.
"Do you like 'Whodunnit?' mysteries?" We ask this question of 4th Graders attending Copper TRACES, a program funded by the National Park Foundation as part of its Every Kid in a Park program. Students from the six western counties of the Upper Peninsula visit the Keweenaw National Historical Park for a series of field days, and the hands-on learning connects nicely with educational standards. One of many stations that the kids visit, we conducted 12 workshops over three days and worked with approximately 116 young history detectives.
We use the information housed within the Keweenaw Time Traveler to teach our detectives about interpreting the landscape over time. By using the Sanborn fire insurance plans and a walking tour of Downtown Calumet, these young detectives learn about buildings clearly recognizable on the 1917 map, buildings whose modifications make their histories questionable (unless they search for more clues), and buildings that are lost to time.
For instance, our young Nancy Drews, Hardy Boys, and Sherlock Holmeses learn a great deal just by standing in the parking lot beside the Calumet Visitors Center and seeing how many different buildings used to stand on that spot:
Mud season is MUG season! And we are running the Mug Season Challenge! Here in the Keweenaw, it's still snowing but the spring sunshine creates too much icy crust for good skiing and snowshoeing. And soon enough we'll have nothing but MUD! So if you're looking for an indoor activity to tide you over until hiking, biking, and boating begin, try being a Citizen Historian with the Keweenaw Time Traveler. If you top off the classifications in one year's map, let us know and we will send you a mug as a thank you. Here's how it works:
We have three apps that ask you — Citizen Historians volunteering from home — to collect information from historic fire insurance maps. You can choose your activity: Document Building Materials, Document Building Use, or Transcribe the Maps. To learn more, check out our blog post from September or watch our how-to videos on YouTube.
If Citizen Historians like you finish Quincy 1942, we will run another contest. So keep checking back for new Mug Season Challenges! Also you can track overall Citizen Historians' progress here. Thanks for helping to make the Keweenaw Time Traveler even better. Happy Mapping!
Time Travelers Tim, Rose, and Nick have been hard at work preparing 40 years of Calumet and Laurium area school records for inclusion in the Explore App. These records include which school and classroom each child attended, their teacher, their classmates, how old they were, days missed, and whether or not they were vaccinated. See the video below to learn more!
The Keweenaw Time Traveler was recently nominated for the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce's Keweenaw Community Sparkplug Award for the Project of the Year. We are very humbled and wish to thank everyone in the community for their support. Happy Exploring!