Abstract

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide the ability to georeference, or link, historic maps and photographs to current digital map images. The technology allows researchers of historic sporting landscapes to document change, assemble predictive models that identify potential archaeological sites, and more accurately interpret historic sites. This article examines the historic locations of baseball parks in Indianapolis, Indiana, and uses Washington Park to demonstrate GIS methods. Constructed in 1905 and site of the first Negro National League game in 1920, the park was demolished in the mid 1930s. Its landscape had changed so dramatically that no feature of the park can be recognized. The precision of GIS applications allowed the identification of several of the park’s features, including the key location of home plate (86° 10’ 54” W, 39° 46’ 1” N). As a result, several public history interpretive features and programs are being implemented to commemorate this unique landmark of the city’s sports history.

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