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Texas Historical Markers
programming : by Tommy - September 1st 2011, 10:51AM
programming
While arguably probably not my best work, it only took me all of a couple hours, I present a listing of all the Texas Historical Markers. I don't know why I never linked to it before. Maybe I'm not too proud of it, but I wanted to give you access to it. What features do I need to add?

I discovered one evening that Texas has a database of all historical markers in the state freely available online in a comma separated value file (among other formats). What's a geek to do but grab the file and throw it in a MySQL database!
I whipped up a quick drop-down list of all the marker names and used AJAX to show the marker's text. A couple of simple URLs allow you to see, generally, where the marker is located. I have the location information in the database, but it's not Lat/Long which would make for easy map-making. Perhaps that will be my next step. Found a supporting .txt file that has most of the Lat/Long. A simple JOIN from the database fixed that problem. (though, to be honest, some of the coordinates are way off. Unless Texas has markers in Mexico.)

At any rate, take it or leave it, there it is: http://n5dux.com/histmark/

tags: texas history php database

( Comments : 1 | Full article )

 
Texas is Growing (hands off)
news : by Tommy - December 21st 2009, 11:33PM
news
So the other night I was thinking about the map of our United States of America. I began to ponder just how states' boundaries are defined. Some states are defined by rivers, lakes and other bodies of water. Some states are defined by man-made boundaries (which can lead to some interesting disputes).

Currently, Texas' western boundaries are defined in the Compromise of 1850 as "that which is south of the 33rd parallel, and that which is south of the 36°30' parallel north and east of the 103rd meridian west." The eastern edge of the panhandle lies along the 100th meridian west. To the south, Texas has the natural boundaries: the Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico (src: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo). Along the north, a natural border to Oklahoma exists along the Red River. To the East we have the Sabine River from the Gulf up to the 32nd parallel, then straight north to the Red River (Adams-Onís Treaty). Interesting, but so what? Plate Tectonics.

In the early 20th century, geologists developed a theory that described continental drift. They dubbed it Plate Tectonics. It has been discovered that continents do move, so naturally so does everything on them. Texas, and the vast majority of the United States "lower 48" (plus Alaska) ride on the North American plate. The North American Plate moves at about 1.5cm/yr more or less toward the Southeast. This means that Texas is slowly taking land away from New Mexico while losing land to Oklahoma and Louisiana. Texas will not lose land to Mexico, thanks to the natural boundary, the Rio Grande (which rides on the plate). Astronomical longitude/latitude lines do not move (they are based on the proximity to the poles and prime meridian (which is physically drifting too, but now there exist astronomical definitions to account for this) Because of this, the land that moves under the aforementioned longitude/latitude boundaries become, in essence, Texas.

Because of these findings, I hereby proclaim that at the time of this writing, I become sole owner of unclaimed lands that move into the boundaries of Texas.

Continue reading...

tags: plate tectonics texas

( Comments : 1 | Full article )

 

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