Stamp Tax

The Stamp Act of 1765 was largely responsible for enabling the American Revolution, as we all know. However, for those of us that can after the 50s, it may be shocking to learn that the United States used revenue stamps for various services through 1958. Documentary stamps were the most common of these stamps and were often used to pay notary and sale fees for land sales. Below you can see $39.60 in documentary stamps to complete a sale between A.G. Becker and W.T. Pulliam for the conveyance of an 80-acre tract out of the Memory Gardens of Corpus Christi…. Read more »


Whoa, whoa!

We’re halfway there! Whoa, whoa! We’re living on a prayer! We are officially halfway through digitally preserving the Blucher Field Book Collection. Thanks to the extremely hard work of Maria Cherry, Ryan Mayer, & Julissa Peña. At the current rate this team is going, there is no doubt that they will complete the project before the Fall Equinox. Looking back at the collection we wanted to reshare two of our favorite field book finds; Tarasco Language & “Also Wet”.


Corpus Christi, 1887

Corpus Christi, the Naples of South Texas, was established in 1839 by Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney. In a mere 48 years Corpus Christi had already developed most of today’s downtown area. The only thing missing was Shoreline Boulevard. And Whataburger. And the Coliseum. And the Selena Memorial statue. Either way, the roads were laid and many structures erect. Taking a look at the birds eye view of Corpus Christi from 1887, many of us at Spatial {Query} Lab wanted to locate our favorite establishments. Below is the map with some of our favorite downtown establishments. As you… Read more »


Got Milk?

When Mr. Blucher was conducting the surveys for the new Borden plant in 1951 I’m sure an ice cold glass of milk was on his mind. Borden came to the city back in 1926 with 15 employees and 5 trucks, by 1951 both of these numbers had broken a hundred and Borden was inputting over $5 million into the Coastal Bend Community. This plat serves as a reminder that surveying is an integral part of growing communities and economic development. So don’t forget to point out that surveyor working on the side of the road to your kids. Explain to them… Read more »


Prehistoric GIS

Little known fact: prior to the Computer Age brains had to serve as our GIS and cartographic outputs were penned. In this collection we have thousands of historic maps and plats. For the most part they are boundary and topographic surveys at large scales (high detail, small area for those that have forgotten). Not to detract from the amount of work that went into these project, but they cannot compete with the complexity of most geoprocesses used in a quality geographic information system. That is why today I would like to present to you what I am calling ‘the oldest… Read more »


Where’s Doddridge?

Those that know Corpus Christi history know that many of our streets are named after the movers and shakers of the city’s past. Perry Doddridge, the man that opened the first bank in Corpus Christi, unsurprisingly has a street named after him as well. Living up to Perry Doddridge’s reputation for changing capitalistic ventures, so does the street. Doddridge was originally built as part of a beach front addition to the city. The area was home to the Memorial Coliseum before it was demolished in 2010. It is unknown if the street was renamed Kinney to specifically honor the founder of… Read more »


The Deliverable Conundrum

What do we want? Field note descriptions! When do we want it? SOON! I can only speak on behalf of construction projects, but I’m sure all surveyors have had that client that just seemed to think that as soon as you start breaking down the tripod the job was done. Forget that you still have hours of drafting, double checking, and package preparation to conduct before you can hand off the finalized project. This impression that the field crew is the extent of our profession is likely the culprit of this stigma. Deadlines and demands for deliverables is always a… Read more »


Planning for the future of Corpus Christi – Find of the Week

Infrastructure and urban planning are often hot-topics in Corpus Christi. Any survey of the local population could tell you which streets have been in disrepair for decades and which ones seem to get torn up for reconstruction right after they’ve been reconstructed. We’re talking about you McArdle. Back in 1942 when Conrad M. Blucher was asked to conduct a survey across Nueces Bay for the proposed Sinclair Prairie Refining Company pipeline, he had the foresight to include plans for a channel that would be needed in the future when the local oil refineries increased production. This kind of future planning… Read more »


Upcoming Features of BandoCat

We have been hard at work preparing to kick off three new initiatives in the {Map Scanning} project: Georectification of scanned maps Transcription of map indices Spatial search of scanned documents In order to get these initiatives off the ground, we needed to develop some new capabilities of BandoCat (BandoCat is our internally-developed map cataloging software). So, we have developed a new georectification tool, a new transcription tool, and a new spatial search tool. All three of these tools work within BandoCat and will soon be deployed to the S{Q}L staff so they can enrich the scanned documents with geospatial… Read more »