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With ever-expanding residential and commercial development, Prince William County (PWC) and the National Park Service (NPS) secured a grant to study the visual impact of development upon the Manassas National Battlefield Park. The county engaged a land planner, the Walker Collaborative from Nashville, Tennessee, to create the plan. The Walker Collaborative came to History Associates to conduct the historical research and digital mapping needed for the study.
History Associates worked closely with PWC and NPS officials in selecting twenty-five “viewshed points” both within and outside the battlefield park. We then documented these viewshed locations using a field-grade global positioning system unit. The resulting GIS digital map clearly displayed which points on the maps were visible from which location. When combined with the hundreds of historic images, maps, and battle accounts we collected, the result was a meaningful explanation of historic views available to Civil War soldiers and the encroachments upon these viewsheds by existing and proposed development.