A good map is often one of the basic needs of a good engineering project. This featured excerpt from a topographic map (techinically, a quadrangle) was uncovered in an Arizona library, to the great delight of the Armenta Water Distribution Project team members.
The topo map has since been georeferenced and rectified in ArcGIS, and layered on a basemap of satellite imagery. The next step will be digitizing the river flowing into Armenta, as well as roads and buildings. All of this will be done in preparation for laying out the groundwork and design of the water distribution system.
One surprise in this process came in comparing satellite images of the locale between various sources (Google Earth, Bing). The same location shows drastic changes in development depending on the satellite image used. We already reported a change in population from 4,000 to 9,000 expected in 2013 — this drastic upward swing is one of the reasons a better water distribution system is needed.
To check out the location for yourself, use coordinates 15° 34′ 1.15″ N 88° 2′ 17.10″ W — and don’t forget to peruse the geotagged pictures available in Google Earth for a real treat!