A Progess Report on the Drawings and GIS Mapping

A Geographic Information Systems representation of the Cliff Mine's features south of the bluff.

Today marks the mid-point of the field-school portion of the Cliff Mine Archaeology Project and I figured it was about time we showed some “work in progress” drawings and collected data. Many of the students have been measuring and drawing specific structures of the mine (the stamp mill and engine houses for example) in order to overlay them on to a GIS digital map. The students have done an excellent job in learning new techniques in drawing and overcoming the challenges of recording historic structures (in ruin form).

At this time, none of the drawings are finished but I do have a couple of examples of the early stages of these drawings.Included below are a section of the Cliff Mine’s stamp mill and primary engine house, both located under the bluff and the focus of the first half of the field school’s attention.

Each set of images include the student’s drawing along with a .pdf file of the drawing overlaid on a GIS map of the same area. Together, we can see how they line up and this helps determine errors in measurement in order to refine and perfect the drawings.

The first set is of the stamp mill, specifically the raised platform area seen in the immediately previous blog post. You’ll have to look at that one again. ;)

A plan drawing of the stamp mill showing the western wall (top) and machine mounts (bottom left). (J. Posega and S. Newman)

Mill plan 2

What we can see here is a discrepancy in the angle of the wall at the bottom right of the drawing. Using the GIS image, the drawing can now be rectified before a final drawing is created.

This next set is of the engine/hoist house complex built in the 1850’s and known for its red stack top.

The Engine House (central square part of the complex-stack seen in upper right depicted as a circle) and Hoist House (left). (K. Barton)

Engine Overlay

Again, we can see some problems with measurements and scale, but this is to be expected. Measured drawings often go through many drafts as new features that may have not been seen originally, come to light later on.

Finally, I’ve included two tracings (in .pdf format) created with an illustrator software program. I made these drawings by “connecting the dots” of the GIS maps and using historic photographs as a check. The first is of the same engine house shown above. The second, a quick tracing of the data collected over the entire site so far.

Engine House Complex

Under the Bluff

As we continue to refine our drawings, more complete and finished drawings will be posted on the blog. I felt it was important to show some of the process now as it will provide a nice comparison to the finished products later.


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About Sean Gohman

Currently a PhD Degree seeking student in the Michigan Tech University's Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program.

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