Monday, May 20th, 2013
Two staff members of the Morris County Department of Planning and Development have received a 2013 New Jersey Historic Preservation Award for Innovation for the development of a Cultural Resources Inventory Application, a web app that allows for instant access to and the exploration of the county’s cultural resources.
Specifically recognized for their “pioneering or inventive efforts in historic preservation education or interpretive programs” were Jan Williams, Cultural and Historic Resources Specialist for Morris County, and Stuart Walter of the department’s Geographic Information Systems division.
The honor comes as the state and county celebrate May as National Historic Preservation Month.
The application, www.morrisplanning.org/survey/surveys.asp, uses the latest in GIS technology to provide information about the county’s cultural resources including historic sites and districts that are important culturally not only to Morris County but to the country as well, Williams said.
The project incorporates traditional survey methods and the creation of an intuitive, dynamic and customizable web-based application to house the survey data and display of the exact location of a historic entity in space and time, Williams said.
According to Williams, the CRI app allows for continuous status changes – instant updates of historic sites that have been demolished or relocated, creating a “chain of evidence” providing exact facts as to where it was relocated, when it was demolished and when it was locally designated.
“We’ve turned survey data into a living research, planning and public information tool,” Williams said.
Available searches include both the State and National Register of Historic Places, architectural styles and architects.
Viewers have the ability to customize their area of historical interest and see the results of their requested searches displayed on an electronic map that offers zooming capabilities, a combination of Imagery or Hybrid map views and the ability to add or subtract mapped layers such as street lines or railroads, Williams said.
Williams suggests viewers visit the “Morris County Themes” section of the application for historical resources pertaining to the American Revolution, authors, sports, railroads and other categories unique to Morris County.
The Cultural Resource Inventory web application is designed for easy use for everyone from the professional historian to the lay person and everyone in between, Williams said.
According to Williams, staff at municipal libraries and at the Morris County Library has been trained so they can assist their patrons who may have questions about using the web application.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting Williams at 973-829-8120.