The National Park Service (NPS) was established by congress in August of 1916, making 2016 the 100th year of the agency. 100 years is a big deal, and a celebration for NPS is only fitting. As big fans of NPS, Continental Mapping is marking the occasion with posters made from staff pictures and stories gathered from staff, including those of a former park ranger who is now Continental Mapping’s facilities security officer (FSO). Please follow Continental Mapping on Facebook and Twitter to take part in a great yearlong celebration.



The 100th anniversary of the NPS isn’t breaking news; most people have already been exposed to various celebrations on social media channels and news outlets, but for Continental Mapping, it’s personal. The NPS is a client, and the work they’ve asked Continental Mapping to perform has helped preserve cultural heritage from centuries before 1776.



HARPERS FERRY, IOWA - Continental Mapping worked on a pilot aerial lidar project with the National Park Service’s Midwest Archaeological Center (MWAC). The focus area was the heavily wooded Sny Magill Effigy Mounds Group near the southern edge of the Effigy Mounds National Monument on the Mississippi River in Iowa. A goal of the project was to assess the utility of lidar technology for mapping archaeologically sensitive sites.

Continental Mapping provided MWAC with a high density aerial lidar collect, supplemental ground control, and stereo aerial imagery for data verification. Data visualization techniques were used to highlight different characteristics of the mound group. These visualizations, combined with ancillary GIS data sources, provided MWAC with information that helped identify previously undocumented mounds and gave insight into mound construction.



STANTON, NORTH DAKOTA - Coming off a successful project at Effigy Mounds, Continental Mapping was contracted by NPS to provide high accuracy lidar mapping for the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site near Stanton, North Dakota. This site preserves indian villages, including where the famed Sacajawea lived with her husband Charbonneau (Awatixa Village). In 1804, the Corps of Discovery (Lewis and Clark expedition) made it to Knife River and eventually hired Charbonneau as an interpreter, forever changing American history and making the Knife River Indian Villages a place of great significance.

The project area contains earth lodge depressions, constructed mounds, trails, and other archaeological features. Lidar analysts used great care and tested methodologies to preserve these important features during lidar processing. The lidar data was collected by a low flying helicopter and a high accuracy elevation model of the 8.4 square mile site was generated, providing critical information for identifying archaeological resources, riverbank erosion, vegetation communities, and park infrastructure.



CHILLICOTHE, OHIO - NPS again contracted Continental Mapping for aerial lidar mapping, this time at the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe, Ohio. NPS needed the data to identify cultural resources and aid in managing resource integrity due to erosion that is commonplace with riverside lands. Features mapped included conical mounds, trails, low earthen enclosures, and other features determined to have archaeological significance. The Continental Mapping team provided lidar processing and classification of the point cloud.



A big part of the NPS celebration at Continental Mapping is company-wide involvement. The National Parks are each a destination, and each an opportunity to take wonderful photos. To commemorate the 100th anniversary, Continental Mapping has been producing posters like these:




To request a free poster, send all prudent information to:

Natural Gas Explosion

Efforts are ongoing to clean up the explosion site and return adjacent areas to a sense of normalcy. A lengthy process of demolition and rebuilding is ahead, and Continental Mapping will support the Sun Prairie community in staying #SunPrairieStrong.

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