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    Great Smoky Mountains

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Cultural Resources: Winter, 2009

Issue 6 > Resource Roundup > Cultural Resources & Archeology
GIS specialist Ben Zank maps Elkmont.

Ben Zank uses this high-power Geographic Positioning System (GPS) unit to map features within centimeters of their actual location.

NPS photo.

Elkmont in maps

In addition to having photographers document the buildings at Elkmont (see the Partner Profile for more information), the park is also mapping many of the physical features in the area ahead of planned construction. Ben Zank, GIS specialist at the Smokies, spent many mornings (when the satellite signal is better) taking Geographic Positioning System (GPS) points of the houses, electric poles, utility boxes, and manhole covers around the settled areas of Elkmont. From these, he made maps to give to park managers and construction crews. Many of the houses in Elkmont will be restored in the coming years, but those that are not historic or that are too dangerous to enter will have to be removed. Having accurate maps of all of the features helps in the area’s restoration process.

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Did You Know?

Mingus Mill is a turbine-driven grist mill.

Ninety seven historic structures, including grist mills, churches, schools, barns, and the homes of early settlers, preserve Southern Appalachian mountain heritage in the park. More...