The 1923 image below is a perfect example of why archival photographs and documents should be geotagged in a GIS environment. This is why I completed my EdArch pilot project in summer 2012 and later worked on the very similar Edmonton HGIS project at the University of Alberta.
The Glenbow Archives’ original description for the image below focused on the tractor and only briefly mentioned the Big 4 Transfer Co (“Cockshutt – Fordson tractor and plow. Big 4 Transfer.Edmonton, Alberta.”). Thankfully I now know that this company had been in the Potter Block and was able to figure out where the photo was from.
Throughout doing the Edmonton HGIS Project I had tried to locate a photo showing the area of today’s city hall, but had no luck. At that point I was unaware of the Big 4 Transfer Co and certainly would not have used “tractor” as a search term. Nobody would…
So, for your enjoyment, the area of today’s City Hall and Churchill Square…
The image below shows numerous houses that used to be on the site of Edmonton’s city hall along with: 1. Queens Avenue School ; 2. Potter Block ; and 3. the later site of the 1960s CN station and tower.
EdHGIS: 1914 Fire Insurance Maps & Google Earth Imagery