There’s history all around us — from a zanjero house near central Phoenix to remnants of the Joint Head Dam hidden under the light rail maintenance yard — and a new online resource is here to help you discover it.
The interactive SRP Heritage Map shows the location of historic power and water features as well as public artwork and interpretive signage along the canals and other significant historic sites. This project marks the first time the public artwork and interpretive signage have been mapped. Each site includes pictures, a description and in many instances a link to other websites for further information.
SRP Vice President John Hoopes came up with the idea because he believes Valley residents are “often unaware of significant places and events that may be right under their noses.” The map is a resource for history buffs as well as educators and students, but Leah Harrison, Senior Historical Analyst, Research Archives & Heritage, hopes everyone will use it to learn about their own neighborhood and about SRP’s role in developing the Valley.
“We want people to actually go out and visit the spots,” Harrison said. “Type in your address and see what’s around you. You could be living next to a cool historic ditch that you didn’t even know existed. We also included sites that aren’t around anymore. For example, you can see where the first Water Users’ Association headquarters was, which is today a parking garage.”
Cartographic & GIS Services’ Brian Colson used Esri Story Maps software to build the map. The Senior IT Systems Analyst said the technology is interesting, but the content makes it powerful.
“Every location has a story, and story maps provide us the ability to configure interactive maps with rich content, such as photos or video, that help showcase the complete story,” Colson said.
The site is also smartphone-friendly. With your phone’s location service turned on, you can see your exact location and what historic sites are nearby. The map currently includes 75 sites, and more will be added over time.
“The historical map is remarkable, cutting-edge technology that allows easy access to information about more than a century of SRP evolution and Valley progress in the many places where it occurred,” Hoopes said. “Please log on and give the historical map a try — you will be amazed at how much interesting stuff you didn’t know about SRP and our community.”
Explore the SRP Heritage Map.