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The Rocky Mountain Power Digital Photo Collection

The Rocky Mountain Power Digital Photo Collection interactive geospatial interface.

By Justin Sorensen

Utilizing GIS technology to showcase a Library collection or resource is always exciting as it becomes an opportunity to provide you with a method for exploring materials in ways previously unavailable. While the Library database aids you in individually identifying images within our collections, a geospatial application can present images for an entire collection as well as their locations throughout the world within a single, interactive map. To demonstrate this capability, this week’s Map Monday release utilizes the resources contained in the Rocky Mountain Power Company collection to depict images of power plant facilities available throughout the region.

The Rocky Mountain Power Digital Photo Collection

What may seem complex to develop starts by developing a simple spreadsheet within Excel. GIS and Excel are like peanut butter and jelly – they go together very well. The process begins by developing a spreadsheet containing each individual item found in a collection – this includes adding descriptive fields on names, URL addresses, geographic coordinates, and other related information. The spreadsheet is then brought into a GIS program (I recommend using ArcGIS) and the location are automatically platted on the map from the geographic coordinate fields. To complete the process, we develop an interactive mapping application for the collection using a program (such as ArcGIS Online) that viewers like you can utilize in your research endeavors.

Interested in developing a similar project? Remember, it doesn’t have to be a Library collection you’re developing. Reach out to GIS Services to learn more.

Interested in additional examples of Library collections presented through GIS? Check out these projects previously developed through GIS Services:

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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