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Religious Diversity in Salt Lake City: Architectural Photographs

Locations of historic and religious architecture diversity photograph found in Salt Lake City, Utah as part of the Religious Diversity in Salt Lake City Exhibit.

By Justin Sorensen

One of the things I love most about our GIS Services department is the opportunities it presents for collaborating on projects. Whether they be students, faculty, or staff members, each project is unique. Through these collaborations, I am able to provide my expertise in developing methods for sharing their information in ways that are engaging and educational while supporting a new level of project development. For this week’s Map Monday release, I’d like to highlight a recent collaborative project that visualizes historic and religious architecture diversity in Salt Lake City.

Religious Diversity in Salt Lake City: Architectural Photographs

Ken Rockwell, our Digital Initiatives and Metadata Librarian, had collected photographs of historic and religious architecture throughout Salt Lake City as part of an upcoming exhibit and was seeking assistance developing an interactive mapping component where users could visualize each photograph and associated information. The photographs themselves would focus on the religious history and diversity of the city and include buildings that had been repurposed for new uses over time.

Our collaboration began with the development of an Excel spreadsheet that Ken could utilize to input information for each photograph collected – this included information on individuals names, geographic coordinates, photograph URLs, descriptive information, and external links. Upon completing the spreadsheet, Ken and I began work developing the interactive mapping application by processing the collected data through ArcGIS software, geospatially visualizing each location in which a photograph had been collected. The interactive capabilities of ArcGIS would allow additional data Ken had collected to be presented on-demand whenever a particular location on the map is selected. The final step involved importing the processed data into the ArcGIS Online application you see today, easily embedded within the exhibit website being developed. As a result of our collaboration, Ken’s photographs are now interactively presented to viewers, adding a little something extra to his public exhibit.

Interested in learning more about Ken’s exhibit Check out Religious Diversity in Salt Lake City.

Interested in developing a similar project? Reach out to GIS Services to learn more.

About Map Monday from GIS Services:

Throughout the semester, GIS Services will be releasing bi-weekly maps on a variety of topics, demonstrating ideas and uses for incorporating geospatial technology into research and projects you are developing. To view our collection of maps, projects, or to learn more about the geospatial services offered through the J. Willard Marriott Library, please visit the GIS Services website @

Happy Mapping!

Justin Sorensen | GIS Specialist
Creativity & Innovation Services / GIS Services

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