Creating GIS Resources about the Racially Restrictive Covenants in Spokane: Inspired by the map work done by local public historian Logan Camporeale and archivist Anna Harbine and the recent legal movement around locating and archiving the racially restrictive covenants in Washington State (You can read the whole bill here) I created a geodatabase for use in GIS software to map the racially restrictive covenants in Spokane. I started with the same properties identified by the map made by Mr. Camporeale and Mrs. Harbine, but with the geodatabase the map can easily be expanded and shared by researchers, and additional public data can be utilized with the analytic abilities of GIS software to create a wider variety of maps and answer additional questions not readily apparent by the previous map. As an example, I added the Spokane City GiS data for modern parcels and can show specifically how many properties are affected within each neighborhood (broadly speaking). For the long term, I hope not only to have additional data added but to use this data to create a story map.

You can download the geodatabase and other resources (not including Spokane OpenGIS data) I used here and the project executive summary below.

Map showing the boundary of the Spokane Great Fire of 1889: I used the map from Robert Hyslop’s book Spokane’s Building Blocks as a reference to make this map showing what stands today within the area destroyed by the fire. While I used fairly basic functions in ArcGIS pro this simple map is a useful reference for projects based on the fire, showing how the main downtown business district was effectively destroyed.

I added a marker to show where the fire started on this slightly updated version. Still not perfect but closer.

As part of GEOG-426 GIS I, I utilized ArcMap to georeference a series of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of the City of Spokane from 1890, then combined the georeferenced maps with data downloaded from Spokane Open GIS to create a series of maps showing different aspects of the city in 1890. While the exercise was done to show knowledge of georectification it also had the benefit of teaching a was a historian might use of GIS. If you click on the image below you can use the left and right arrow keys to switch between a few maps I made as part of the course.