Identifying the location of a Jacob Eichholtz painting using digital visualization

Parrish, Jay B., DCNR, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 3240 Schoolhouse Rd, Middletown, PA 17057.

Jacob Eichholtz (1776-1842) was a prominent Lancaster, Pennsylvania artist. His 1833 Conestoga Creek and Lancaster shows a bend in the Conestoga Creek with church spires of the city of Lancaster in the distance. The exact location where the painter stood has never been identified, although one could quickly surmise that it is somewhere to the south of Lancaster City, in the Conestoga Formation. Development has been so rapid and landscape changes so pervasive that other than the still existing church steeples, the geomorphology of the distant hills and the bend in the creek, there is little to cross-correlate between the painting and the modern landscape.

The digital elevation model (DEM) for the area was used as a base and color infrared orthoimagery were draped over the DEM to produce a three-dimensional model, which could be rotated in an image-processing package (ENVI). By so doing it was possible to determine the location of the artist when he painted the 1833 landscape.

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 37, No. 1, p. 57