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Mining Maps and Views

Mining in the West has played a critical role in the development, modernization, and industrialization of the United States. Major discoveries included the 1849 Gold Rush in California, silver in Nevada and gold in Colorado in 1858, and copper in Montana in 1876. Maps, bird's eye views, cross sections, and photographs were created in abundance to record this period of rapid change and growth in towns all over the West. This site features the mining maps and accompanying materials from the period of 1849 until the turn of the 19th century. The Comstock Lode is featured in two exhibits one recounting the history of the lode and of Virginia City's rise. The second is an Esri Story Map that incorporates geospatial technologies to explore the Comstock in three dimensions demonstrating how numerous sources of information may be combined to open up new avenues of discovery.