OpenHistoricalMap/Projects/American Civil War

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Sites and Events of the American Civil War


This project will involve mapping important sites and events relating to the American Civil War. This page provides a place to outline what is proposed for the project.

Mapping Projects


As this project advances, we hope to experiment with new tagging to show troop locations, formations and movements. The exact tagging structure is a work in progress. The following is from a requirements document that is presented for discussion.

There are cases where we have substantial data on troop movements and locations. For example, the Cope maps of the Battle of Antietam provide detailed locations of units in 1/2 hour to 1 hour increments over the course of the day's battle, and they are generally considered to be fairly accurate. It is therefore possible to detail the troop movements with accurate unit identification. This makes it possible, for example, to provide an animation facility where you can select a specific unit or group of units and then show their progress across the battlefield.

In the case of the Cope maps, even more is possible, as Cope reconstructed what was planted in the fields on the day of the battle, and provided contour lines. It is possible to actually show what the infamous Cornfield looked like on the day of the battle. Likewise, it is possible to show the perspective of the Federal troops marching up the hill towards the sunken road known as "Bloody Lane", and show what the Confederate troops in the sunken road saw as the Federal troops marched towards them.


  • constructed by whom
  • controlled by whom (date range)
  • facing
  • fixed
    • type (e.g., "star" fort)
    • construction (wood, earth, stone, brick, ...)
    • ditch (present or absent)
  • temporary
    • when constructed

Units and Movements

  • unit hierarchy (e.g., regiment is part of division is part of corps)
  • unit locations with times (e.g., route march)
    • formation (line, column, bivouac, etc.)
    • nit occupying lines and/or fortifications (relationship to fortification objects see above)

Terrain and Vegetation features

Do as much of this within the framework of existing OSM landuse/landcover/crop tagging schemes.

Potential Tagging Scheme

This is a developing proposal. Please use the talk tab for comments/suggestions.

Use start_date & end_date to indicate arrival and departure from this location

  • relation Troop Movement
    • contains a series of Troop Formations showing progress of a unit


Unit designation and organization