Sparkling City by the Sea

The Sparkling City by the Sea has always been seen as a city with potential for major growth. Back in 1924, advertisements for Corpus to become the ‘Metropolis of the State of Texas’ were a common sight. Investment companies also believed that the entire county would flourish into a hub of large towns surrounded by farmlands. Robstown was advertised as ‘the most progressive town in the state’ and Bishop was claimed to become the second, if not first, largest city in the state. Well here we are 93 years later; Corpus is the 8th largest city in the State (only… 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 »


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 »


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.