Discover Auburn Lecture Series –Historic Alabama City Plans: Building a GIS-Based Repository

Published: February 25, 2021

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Auburn University Libraries’ Discover Auburn Lecture Series will host Becki Retzlaff (Community Planning), Charlene LeBleu (School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture) and Kasia Leousis (Auburn University Libraries) on March 3 at 3 p.m. in a program entitled “Historic Alabama City Plans: Building a GIS-Based Repository of City Planning Documents for Research and Outreach.”

This presentation will present an intramural grant-funded project to collect and digitize historic Alabama city plans and zoning ordinances. These plans and ordinances were then mapped in a publicly available Geographic Information System, or GIS, format. GIS is a framework for gathering, managing and analyzing data. Rooted in the science of geography, GIS integrates and analyzes spatial location, organizing layers of visualizations using maps and 3D images.

The two-year project collected over 1,000 plans and 75,000 scanned pages, spanning more than 100 years of planning in Alabama. Access to historic plans and ordinances is crucial to understanding the social, cultural, economic, environmental and historical context of city planning. This GIS-based repository can be used to understand the basis for past planning decisions, institutional racial biases and the political context for planning in Alabama.

The program will be presented via Zoom and the public is welcome.

The program will be available here on video approximately one week after the lecture.

Submitted by: Jayson Hill