Thursday, April 04, 2019

Mapping Bears Ears

The Washington Post's What Remains of Bears Ears report has won a lot of praise this week. The article combines maps, drone photography and a lot of information about the historical and environmental importance of the area. In particular the article contains an amazing 3D model of an ancient cave dwelling and an interactive map of a cliff wall covered in drawings, which are up to 6,000 years old

In December of 2017 President Trump reduced the size of the Bears Ears National Monument by 85%. The Post article uses aerial imagery to map the size of the Monument before and after Trump's reduction. The boundary of the monument before and after the reduction is shown on top of an aerial view map. Many areas of important historical and scientific interest now lie outside this boundary and are no longer protected by having Monument status. One of the areas now under threat is an ancient cave dwelling. The Washington Post has used drone captured imagery to create a 3D model of this Pueblo cliff dwelling, which explores the dwelling up close and in detail.

The article also includes a photo map of an etched cliff wall near the San Juan River. The article zooms into sections of this cliff wall to show some of the amazing drawings which were etched onto the wall, up to 6,000 years ago. The photo of the cliff wall has been made into an interactive map, so you can actually explore the cliff etchings on your own. The interactive map includes markers which include explanatory notes from archaeologists Sally Cole and Jonathan Till. It is worth reading the article for this map alone.

No comments: