Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Transcontinental Railroad Google Earth Map

From: "Dave Keith" frisbee1996@yahoo.com

[Click to view Transcontinental Railroad Google Map. Courtesy of Dave Keith.]

Recently I have been introduced to the history of the transcontinental railroad through reading Ambrose's book Nothing Like it in the World. So I searched the internet high and low for a Google Earth file that would show the original railroad with all its stops, cuts, tunnels, etc. and found nothing.

In light of this, I have created a basic [Keyhole Markup Language] .kmz file that contains as many stops as I could find on the old maps of the railroad from Sacramento to Omaha and have tried to follow the old grade as much as possible. I believe it to be as accurate as I could make it, but its potential could be far-reaching in the right hands. ... I'd like to see it expand and become more enriched in historical accuracy and detail ...

Personally, to open the file on Google Earth and actually trace the railroad's route across the western US is amazing. To see the terrain and all the physical obstacles the builders faced is very impressive and I think it would be an awesome tool for transcontinental railroad history buffs. ...

—Dave Keith, Brockway, PA