UNC Department of Geography


Student Projects

Teacher Resources



Project Information

Download Page (Helicopter under construction)

Project Files and Handouts

Project (.axl) Files

Do you wish to explore further the abilities of using maps to illustrate Colorado's historical geography?  You can use ArcExplorer to make your own maps or use the file downloads below to copy the .axl (project) files to the same directory as the data and alter them as you please.  REMEMBER: the .axl files must be copied to INSIDE the ColoradoData directory (and all of its data) that came with the CD.  You will need WinZip (www.winzip.com) or other decompression software to unzip the files below.

Click HERE for a zipped file of ALL current .axl project files.  Unzip these INSIDE the ColoradoData directory.  After opening the files in ArcExplorer you may resave them to any location.

Student Worksheets and Conceptual Overview documents 

The documents below are provided in Microsoft Word format.  Documentation and directions have been slightly altered from the internet mapping versions of the conceptual overviews and worksheets to be used with ArcExplorer 9.0.  If you are using the ArcExplorer Education Edition the directions will result in some discrepancies. You should however, with relatively minor changes, be able to adapt them for use with ArcExplorer for Education Edition.  Click below do download a zipped file of each set of activities:


Regions of Colorado  (includes a conceptual overview and 4 worksheets).

Population Growth Before 1900 (2 worksheets)

Population Growth After 1900 (Conceptual overview and 3 worksheets


GIS Database

The GIS (Geographic Information Systems) database that this project uses is free for educational and non-commercial use.  Files are in ESRI shapefile format.  Click projection information for information on the custom projection used for all shapefiles.  The links below are in ZIP file format.  Most of the ZIP files contain more than one theme (which consists of multiple files).

1870 Counties (2 themes point and polygon) some socio-economic data.

1876 Counties No socio-economic data.

1880 Counties (2 themes point and polygon) some socio-economic data.

1890 counties (2 themes point and polygon) some socio-economic data

1900 Counties (2 themes point and polygon) some socio-economic data.

1910 Counties (2 themes point and polygon) some socio-economic data.

1920 Counties (2 themes point and polygon) some socio-economic data.

1930 Counties (2 themes point and polygon) some socio-economic data.

1940 Counties (2 themes point and polygon) some socio-economic data.

1950_1960_2001counties   (3 polygon themes) County boundaries in 1950, 1960, and 2001.  Some socio-economic data.

Communities and County Seats  Two themes.  Some population data.

Continental Divide   Two Themes, one of the continental divide (co_cont_divide) in Colorado, the other (us_cont_divide) in the U.S.

Early Trails  Two themes of some early trails: pre-gold rush and gold rush.

Ghost Towns  Approximate locations of 560 Colorado ghost towns.

Lifezones  Lifezones of Colorado (1.4mb download).

NativeAmericans  Includes 4 polygon themes: Native Americans 1700s approximate, Native Americans 1800-1850s approximate, Native American Reservations 1861-1879 approximate, Native American Reservations 2000.

Railroads 1873-2001  Five themes showing approximate railroads in 1873, 1879, 1895, 1913, and 2001.  (.45mb download).

Regions  Three themes of "Regions" in Colorado.  Regions shows a view of early regions; Regions2000 shows a more accurate view of present-day regions in Colorado; Regions2000kent_taylor shows anoth view of regionaliztion in Colorado according to Kent and Taylor.  (.3mb download)

Rivers (colorado)   Two themes: Rivers (just major rivers), and riversandmajortributaries (more complete).  Note these two themes do not overlay perfectly.  (1.1mb download)

Roads pre 1946  Three themes 1918 improved roads, 1924 paved, and 1946 paved roads (.5mb download).

Tourist_Related   Three themes: Casino Towns, Ski Towns, Tourist Destinations.  General reference, not precise.

Water1  Three themes: Aquifers in Colorado, Canals (only selected ones), and Colo_irrigat_land (generalization of major irrigated areas).

Water2   Three themes: Dams, Reservoirs, and major transmountain diversions.

Western Areas   Five themes: Western_cities_forts (selected), Westernstates (outlines), major Western_rivers, Western_territories1860 (boundaries, approximate), and westernlakes (a selected few).  (.28 download)


Projection Information

All files in this database have been projected into: North American Albers Equal Area Conic Projection.  Central Meridian: -105.5.  Standard Parallel 1: 37; Standard Parallel 2: 41; Latitude of Origin: 39.  Datum: NAD 1983.  Spheroid: GRS 1980.

We welcome your comments.  Write either phil.klein@unco.edu or david.diggs@unco.edu.

Last Updated: 21 June 2010
Website designed by: T Sandoval
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