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Geodata tracing the Newport & Shermans Valley RR and Perry County RR with aerials, shapefiles, and related points. Aerial photography, from 1937 to 1942, was retrieved from the Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access (PASDA) Imagery Navigator and then manually cropped to remove border artifacts such as markers and text. Photos were georeferenced using QGIS 3.0 and matched up to present day Google Maps aerials using like features such as still-existing treelines, crossroads, and buildings. Approximately 25 to 45 georeference points were used per photograph. Both railroads were then able to be traced in their entirety. Finally, points of interest related to these railroads are included too: stations, paths the tracks ran converted to walking trails, and a failed mountain tunnel.

The georeferenced imagery is not perfect but accurate to a certain degree. This means that the traced lines should be within a couple yards of the actual path. Data can be viewed using these layers in this Google MyMaps map.

To learn more about the actual history of these rails, the book The Rails of Perry County (2012) by Dennis Hocker is a great resource. Hocker's book provided a great resource for this project by providing a couple images of the same aerials showing which lines were the railroad to begin tracing from.


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