19 December 2014

More on the online Titus atlas

If you've seen the online atlas you've most likely noticed that each point is only given with a last name. The reason for that is because of the way I've set up the database.

This is what the columns of the database look like. The first three are for the GIS, the fourth is what is generally the first initial of the property owner. Sometimes it will say "Heir to" and occasionally even give the full first name. Then is a column for the surname, and finally one I've labeled "Source", which I'm thinking about changing to "District", which lets me know which map it came off of making it easier to find.

The reason I separated the first name and surname was to make it easier to search, and at a later date I hope to change all the known abbreviations to full names. However, this causes problems that I never would have thought of when trying to convert the file to something Google Maps can use. For whatever reason, even though when the file is converted to a .KML file all the columns remain, going to Google Maps the columns are not kept unless you specify one column. I have been looking for a way to combine the two, but so far have not had much luck.

If you look at number 1661, it says "Null" for the first name and is blank for the last name. What this is is a place holder. At times the maps will place a square but not have a name or leader attached to it making it hard or impossible to know who owns it. I've tried not to guess at who owns the property, but I wanted as many of the properties listed as possible; on Google Maps they're listed as "Untitled."

Below I'll point out some of the difficulties in reading the maps and how I've dealt with those difficulties.

Mechanicstown, District 15, page 37. Southern part.

Looking at 1 you'll notice there are a couple of "{" type leaders, this shows that person, in this case Dr. W. S. Pherson. However, the left symbol also connects it to one lower and closer to the road, but the "{" points to the Iron Ore as well. At first I thought that maybe Dr. Pherson owned three properties, two of which were Iron Ore deposits. However, the Iron Ore symbol is just above the I & O.

Another problem in this area is the "Aburn Farm", something I have no idea what it really means. Obviously there is a farm there, but the exact location is not given. In this case I have placed it on a different layer that has not been added to the Google Map yet.

Near 2 you'll notice the Catoctin Furnace, a grist mill and a saw mill. I used the symbol below the C for the location of the furnace. For the two mills however I didn't know which symbol was being referred to so I used the next closest ones. In the same general area there are a number of unlabeled symbols, all of which are labeled as "Null".

The 3 on the right side shows another problem in the area. Notice how the B.S + Rectory has a leader showing which building they are in? Directly below that it says "Epis. Ch." but there is no leader. Which building is it? Is it in the same as the B.S. and Rectory or one just to the south? What I've done is placed the church on its own layer in the same area. Zooming in on the area in Google Maps shows that Harriet Chapel is right there and has been in existence since 1833 and is most likely the church on the map. 

You might also notice in the same area the name J. B. Kunkel, he seems to own a lot of property in that general area.

Luckily these problems do not come up often, generally it's pretty easy to see who owns what property. The other times an educated guess is all I have to go on.

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