Gettysburg on GIS

Smithsonian magazine has a very interesting map study of Gettysburg using modern GIS data to plot elevations and sight distances. You can take a look for yourself and see what the commanders actually saw on those fateful days. Which is not what we see on maps today where, looking down from above, we know exactly where everyone was. They did not, and it’s instructive to see how being on the low ground affected the Confederate perspective on the battle.

There are also looks at the dead ground that was out of sight. When we talk about things like engagement ranges and ask “why didn’t they open fire at a longer range,” the answer very often is because they couldn’t see anything to shoot at.

Well worth a look, and I’d like to see it for other battles as well.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *