The experience in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita underscored the limitations in current approaches for documenting and assessing heritage resources in a postdisaster context. Traditional paper-based damage assessment processes proved slow and inadequate for measuring post-disaster impacts on heritage resources.

The NCPTT is embarking on a project with Louisiana State University to develop the means for the rapid documentation of heritage resources using new survey technologies. These means will rely on special equipment to simultaneously capture digital imagery and geographic information. The NCPTT and LSU researchers will develop and test technologies and methodologies for data collection and integration into geographic information systems platforms, analysis, and query-retrieval. It is hoped that this will allow the documentation of a variety of historic resources in a relatively short time. With the new technologies and methodologies, it is anticipated that entire neighborhoods could be documented in the time one block is surveyed using traditional methods.

The NCPTT is embarking on a project with Louisiana State University to develop the means for the rapid documentation of heritage resources using new survey technologies. These means will rely on special equipment to simultaneously capture digital imagery and geographic information. The NCPTT and LSU researchers will develop and test technologies and methodologies for data collection and integration into geographic information systems platforms, analysis, and query-retrieval. It is hoped that this will allow the documentation of a variety of historic resources in a relatively short time. With the new technologies and methodologies, it is anticipated that entire neighborhoods could be documented in the time one block is surveyed using traditional methods.

The Center will continue to work with engineers and other professionals to develop training opportunities that will increase the practitioners’ breadth of knowledge to allow them to more effectively deal with historic buildings and other
cultural resources. At the same time, the NCPTT will continue to support innovative research that has the prospect to advance the application of science and technology to historic preservation and that will lead to a better understanding and
the preservation of America’s important cultural heritage.

Infrastructure: Any bid to improve roads and bridges in Louisiana always seems to boil down to two facts: The need is there (and) the political will to pay for it is not… Without more money… (the) backlog (of roads and bridges)
will grow by about $300 million a year… Most voters believed state roads were in bad shape but they also opposed a gasoline tax increase to improve them. Motorists (in Louisiana) now pay 38.4 cents a gallon in road taxes… (while) the
national average is 46.8… Like other expensive issues in Louisiana, lots of voters want something for nothing… (and) think someone else should pay for them… (They) have never gotten over the days when energy dollars paid for many
state services.

Will Sentell

Reporter for Capitol News Bureau

Sunday Advocate 8/6/06

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