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May 24, 2019, marked the 150th anniversary of the beginning of John Wesley Powell’s ambitious expedition through the canyonlands of Utah, Colorado, and Arizona, including the Grand Canyon. Powell succeeded in recording some of the earliest known maps, data, topographic measurements, geology, and local Native American culture for much of the treacherous Colorado River.

Screenshot of Powell 150 story map

In a new USGS story map, readers can follow Powell’s epic journey from a remote sensing perspective. A variety of satellite and aerial imagery from the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls complements the gripping story of whitewater adventures. It’s nothing short of stunning that the crew survived the perilous rapids in the canyons of the Green and Colorado Rivers in their small wooden boats.

Besides the story map created by EROS staff, the USGS has a webpage dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the expedition. Also watch for social media posts (#Powell150) from both the USGS and EROS.

The story map is available at this link.



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