The National Park Service Played a Vital Role in the Buffalo Soldiers Mapping Project

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Bibliographies and maps focused on the activities of black soldiers in the American West were produced in the initial phases of the Warriors Project, a university/government partnership designed to involve African American and Native American students in the exploration and documenting of their "shared history" in the frontier West. The National Park Service has supported this worthy endeavor with funding, training, and other support. A prime example of the agency's involvement is the Buffalo Soldiers Mapping Project, which employed the resources of the National Park Service's CRGIS facility to process student-generated data and produce multivariate maps of more than 200 significant Buffalo Soldier sites.

The National Park Service's Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems (CRGIS) facility was established in 1989 "to institutionalize the use of GIS, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Remote Sensing (RS) technologies in historic preservation within the National Park system as well as with State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO) and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPO)." Having been designated the Park Service's lead agency in the development of standards for the collection, management, and distribution of cultural resource spatial data, CRGIS bears a heavy responsibility to apply these relatively new and powerful technologies to very good effect.

CRGIS has proven up to the task and is well respected. During the past two decades, CRGIS has: produced GPS surveys of hundreds of historic places throughout the U.S., provided GIS database development assistance to more than 20 National Park System units, State Historic Preservation Offices, and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices; provided GIS and GPS training for hundreds of federal, state, and local government employees; undertaken numerous GIS analyses related to disaster situations, created map atlases for clients such as the National Register of Historic Places, and performed other important work....

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