The Legend of “The Piasa, The Bird That Devours Men”

The legend of the Piasa. In 1673 French Explorer Jacques Marquette reported that he and fellow French explorer Louis Jolliet discovered a painting of what was probably two “Water Monsters” on the bluffs of the Mississippi River near present day Alton, Illinois. By 1700 those pictographic creatures were no longer visible. In 1836 the novelist John Russell described an image cut into the bluff of a legendary dragon-like creature with wings (See photo below). According to Russell the creature was called a “Piasa, the bird that devours men.” That version of the pictograph as well as myths about the Piasa have become prominent in local folklore.

The Piasa

The Piasa

Dan Berkenstock: The world is one big dataset. Now, how to photograph it …

Great TED video of Dan Berkenstock talking about the vision of SkyBox and what drives them. This is “game changing” technology that will force the mapping industry to evolve and produce more dynamic and increasingly important capabilities. I am very excited with what SkyBox and the other small satellite companies are doing.

Interactive Map of Illinois Route 66

We added an interactive map for Illinois Route 66 for The American Digital Backroads Project today. The interactive map contains the a red line depicting the route Highway 66 takes across Illinois and different colored dots representing the cultural icons found along Route 66 in Illinois. If you click on the icon dots you will get a pop-up that includes information and photos of many of the historic locations found alongside historic Route 66. Here is the interactive web-map:


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