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Weekly Content Selection #81
This past week was a bit different than usual. Although I continued to do a little bit of population data aggregation from France's 1881 census for my research projects, I mostly focused on examining, exploring, cycling, and photographing my local area. I stitched together a historical map of my area that I digitized in pieces from my local library a couple of months ago. I combined two different maps. The first edition topographic map of my area from the 1930's and a second edition from the 1950's. These maps provide a great deal of historical information regarding my area and cartography in general.

There's a wilderness trail in the forest around my city that regained my attention lately. I used to use it a bit back when I was a teenager, but since then I've been focusing on other projects. What first got me into photography was my desire to explore the outdoors around my city and find not very well known waterfalls and take pictures of them. Lately, with all of my exploration, my desire to find and photograph hidden waterfalls has been rekindled. The first place I ever posted my photography to online was a site called Panoramio. This is the first photo I uploaded all the way back in 2007. It is of a cascade on a better known series of waterfalls called "Beaver Falls". Most people only see the portion that can be seen from the highway, but this particular scene is further up stream.

What got me interested in Panoramio is that your photos can be featured on Google Maps and Google Earth. Google Earth has been for many years my primary tool to virtually explore the world for both places that I will visit and places that I may only wish to study so I wanted to share my explorations with people since I had appreciated seeing places that other people had been to. 

Recently I've been uploading to Panoramio again after focusing on Flickr and Google+ as my primary places for sharing my photos. To me, I feel as though I'm returning to the roots of my desire to take pictures. Over the past week I've uploaded a good number of photos from 4 outings during each I took hundreds of photos. You can find my Panoramio account here. The first couple of pages of photos have all been taken this week.

With Google Earth being one of my main tools to research, find, and plan trips to see local places, many hours of the past week have been spent drawing and labeling things on my desktop version of Google Earth. As I've been plotting the streams I've been making a number of interesting observations. The most interesting one to me is that although cartographers and many other people like to simplify drainage basins to the point where any given place can only have one and only one basin in which the water will drain to, this isn't always the case. It is simply a generalization. Especially in the area that I'm analyzing due to the topography and the activity of the beavers. On the height of land, the landscape in my area is rough with many outcroppings, but overall, the stream courses don't travel over much elevation. It is only when they come off of the height of land that they go over a great deal of elevation and this is typically where you'll find most of the waterfalls in my area. Since the stream courses are relatively flat upon the height of land, this provides an area that is quite conductive for beaver activity. Here, when the beavers build dams the ponds that are created above the dams can flood a greater amount of area meaning that the beavers can safely access more food. This makes beaver ponds extremely ubiquitous upon the height of land in my area and since it is relatively flat, when a beaver dams up a stream there is a chance that some of the water might flow in a different direction and into a different stream basin. 

The screenshot included in this post shows the historical maps of my area that I had digitized and stitched together on the left and the desktop version of Google Earth that I've been plotting local streams and waterfalls to on the right.

Through all of this recent exploration I've cycled 242 km over the past week, bringing the total number of km cycled since the installation of my trip computer to 2,493.

As always, thank you SO much for your continued support! It helps me be able to be who I am and continue to do what I do.