We operate a variety of training programs here at FPAN, and almost all of them involve some form of instruction on filling out a site form for the Florida Master Site File (FMSF-the state's repository for all manner of cultural sites, including Native American sites, Spanish and British sites, shipwrecks, and more). For example, there are separate forms for archaeological sites, historic cemeteries, and historic structures.
Perhaps the most important item on the form is the precise, geographic location of the cultural resource, and its perimeter or dimensions. The site file requests that all forms include a map with the site clearly labeled. This is imperative, as it ultimately places a "dot" on all state property, that future development will have to consider. In no way does a FMSF listing afford protection to a site, remember that it's simply a record or repository.
Unfortunately, recording a site's location in space can also be the most difficult and complicated aspect for a layperson to address, especially someone who is not familiar with or does not have access to GIS, GPS equipment, and/or other spatial technologies.
That said, there are many different methods one might use to create a map of the site. What follows is a relatively straightforward method I personally employ, and is friendly to anyone with an internet connection (i.e. access to the web, especially Google Maps) and a newer version of Adobe Acrobat Pro.
1. Navigate to the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) website!
Quadrangle maps or "quad-maps" as they're often called, are FREE to download from www.usgs.gov. In the top-right corner of the webpage, click on the link entitled, "Map Locator & Downloader"
2. Download your map!
Zoom in on the map to Florida by either rolling your mouse ball or clicking + on the map interface.
Select “MARK POINTS” from the menu on the right.
*Hint* You can also use Google Maps to verify your location.
|Screenshot of the USGS map interface|
Once you have located your site, single-click the location on the map. This brings up the 'marker' icon. Now, click on the icon itself, and download the latest version of the topographic quad-map (probably 2012); as you'll notice, they're typically named after a nearby city, province, or county.
3. Open your map in Adobe Acrobat Pro (or similar version!)