GIS investigations are part of many of the activities in this unit. These investigations make use of ArcGIS Online, an internet software that runs on most browsers. If you do not have an an ArcGIS account and would like to have one you can sign up for a free personal account here.
The El Dorado Project files are also available to download for ArcGIS Desktop:
The data and shapefiles in the various map layers are from a variety of sources:
California State & County Level Data
California state and county shape files including hydro, imagery, and base map data from the Cal-Atlas Geospatial Clearinghouse
California Arsenic & Cancer Related Data
Arsenic level data from Alex N. Helperin David S. Beckman Dvora
Contaminated Groundwater: Is the State Minding the Store?
(Los Angeles: Natural Resources Defense Council, 2001).
Cancer related data from National Cancer Institute, State Cancer Profiles, 2005-2009.
Historic photos of El Dorado County from the Wieslander Vegetation Type Maps & Photographs, University of California 2005.
Vegetation data for 1934 and 1945 from the Wieslander Vegetation Mapping Project, University of California, Berkeley, 2005.
Vegetation data from 1977 from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Historic CALVEG Project.
Contemporary data from the Cal-Atlas Geospatial Clearinghouse
Agricultural census data from 1997 from the USDA Census of Agriculture Historical Archive.
Data from earlier years from the Census of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
Those interested in learning more will find that the Internet offers a variety of interesting materials.
Calisphere The 1848-1865: The Gold Rush Era section contains an extensive collection of materials on the Gold Rush in California
Search the Library of Congress: American Memory Collection for resources on the California gold rush.
Students and teachers wishing to learn more about the impact of gold mining in California may want to read the following:
James J. Rawls and Richard J. Orsi, A Golden State: Mining and Economic Development in Gold Rush California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).
Your comments and suggestion about these materials are more than welcome.
If you have ideas for additional topics that would lend themselves to the approach taken here, please pass them along. I'd enjoy collaborating with you.