Spatial Fascination

Maps. Chances are if you’re on this site, you have some form of love for maps. Maps are these beautiful spatial interpretations that connect peoples and cultures alike. Whether it’s a geopolitical conversion of countries into perceived animals or a pocket map often found in the real-estate classifieds, maps have connected us one way or another. French & Haberer was a civil engineering firm in the Nueces County area in the early 1900’s that produced many of the maps and plats used by real-estate companies to advertise the beautiful cities and towns of South Texas. The French & Haberer Handy Pocket… Read more »


Give me a break

No matter what your profession is, every now and again we all just need a break. Back in 1924 surveyors weren’t able to escape reality by checking their Facebook notifications or calling friends or family on their cellphones. Instead, they created game boards on the backs of their preliminary plats! This simple pleasure serves as both a reminder of simpler times and a continued connection to humans across the ages. My only question to Mr. Blucher would be; what’d the client say when you turned in a plat with a chess board painted on the back?


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 »


ICA Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies names Spatial {Query} Lab ‘Lab of the Month’ for January 2017

I am very proud to announce that the Spatial {Query} Lab has been named ‘Lab of the Month’ in January 2017 by the International Cartographic Association Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies (ICA). This honor should certainly be shared by the fantastic students in the lab working on the open source-related curriculum as well as the community that uses the content and provides valuable feedback. Thank you all for your hard work. The ICA announcement can be viewed at: http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2017/01/geoforall-lab-of-the-month-texas-am-university-corpus-christi-usa/


Bird Eggs – Find of the Week

Today we are featuring an interesting list of bird eggs found in their nests. This list was found inside the back cover of a field book. Although the page doesn’t have a date on it, the entire field book was dated between April and June of 1908. Unfortunately, we found no explanation as to why the bird eggs were being counted. The list reads as follows: “Eggs of Small burrowing owl – seven in nest. Yellow headed woodpecker – five in nest. Bottlenest bird (oriole ?) – three in nest, perhaps not complete. Totache  – three in nest.” Totache is another name for… Read more »


More than Surveying – Find of the Week

This week we are featuring two field book pages that show schematic drawings rather than survey sketches. Although the Conrad Blucher Surveying Collection is primarily comprised of surveying and mapping related documents, we we have occasionally come across engineering related documents. This particular entry, from June 1938, was for Travelers Insurance Company and includes several detailed drawings of different parts of an oil line boom.


Drs. Smith and Rudowsky Present about {Map Scanning} to TAMUCC Presidents Council

Dr. Rick Smith, Director of the Spatial {Query} Lab and Dr. Catherine Rudowsky, Director of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library, presented about the {Map Scanning} project at the inaugural TAMUCC President’s Council Lunch and Learn on October 13th, 2016. We were happy to have the opportunity to present to the President’s Council about the status of the project and the local, state, and national impacts that the {Map Scanning} project will have going forward. Click here to view the presentation online (presentation is large, so it may take a few moments to load).Read more »


Land For Sale – Find of the Week

This week we are featuring an advertisement for “Large Beautiful Lots” for sale in Corpus Christi. The ad, from 1927, features a map showing the lots that were for sale. The lots ranged in price from $119 to $399 and could be paid off with $1 weekly payments! We  found it very interesting to see how much land you could buy in 1927 for less than $400.


Crosstown Expressway – Find of the Week

This week we are featuring a series of  six maps that show the right-of-way for a portion of  State Highway 286, known as the Crosstown Expressway, in Corpus Christi, Texas.  State Highway 286 has been designated on it’s current path from downtown Corpus Christi to Chapman Ranch since 1939. The six right-of -way maps shown below have a range of dates from October 1961 to May 1963. The final photo shows each of the six maps georeferenced to the ground locations of each map. Click on a map to expand it for a more detailed view. We found it very interesting to see… Read more »


Dr. Smith to Speak at URISA Texas Monthly Speaker Series – Digital Mapping in a Disaster Response Environment

Dr. Smith, Director of the Spatial {Query} Lab, will be presenting on the topic of ‘Digital Mapping in a Disaster Response Environment’ on Tuesday, October 25th from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (Central Time). URISA Texas is hosting the presentation online. Learn more about the presentation by visiting the event page at: http://urisatexas.org/event-2353872 or read below.

Presentation outline: 

Mapping is an integral part of a disaster response. Whether the maps are paper or digital, getting useful information to the right people at the right time is critical…and hard. Luckily, the rapid development of technology, in terms of… Read more »