Tuesday, February 4, 2020


The local Sultana Foundation is constructing a new building in downtown Chestertown to be used to hold education activities for K-12 students, and they and came to GIS to create a map that depicts the Chesapeake Bay area before colonization of North America.

Daniel Benton is heading the project, and while he knows how to use a lot of the programs that are needed for this project, he said, “I have never worked on a project this large before and it has been challenging to find data that meets the standards we are setting for ourselves.”

The size of the room the map is for is 32′ or 22′, but the map is slightly smaller because of some obstacles on the floor.

The group, comprised of Benton, Erin Bloodgood, Erin Beach and Kayla Johns, are using ESRI’s Arcmap to do all the work for the project.

“The main skills being used are data manipulation to try and show the region in an interesting and accurate way,” Benton said.

Once they’re done with the basemap, the group plans to make  layers that will be projected from the ceiling onto the map on the floor below. “These layers could show just about anything, such as current population density, current road ways, municipal boundaries, school zones, or possibly even historical data about the area,” Benton said.

Right now, despite the size of the project, the main issue they’re facing is making sure the map looks aesthetically pleasing at the scale they’re printing at. However, Benton thinks the struggle will be worth it.

“This is a hard project but, I also think it is going to be extremely rewarding when we get to see the final product permanently printed on the floor of a building in town,” Benton said.

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