USA Aloft is evaluating sites of historical interest for inclusion in its forthcoming Lewis and Clark software. If you would like to have your site included, please read this page and then contact us. We can't promise to include everyone, but we will strive to respond to all inquiries.
The goal of USA Aloft's Lewis and Clark Project is to document the Trail in its present day condition with images and other material for use in the classroom, by the enthusiast or for serious research. We are interested in hearing from sites with an historical link to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Examples of locations we would like to feature include Expedition camp sites, sites with historical reconstructions, regions with interesting terrain or "stories" from the Expedition.
Inclusion in our database may be done in a number of ways. Links to your information in the database would probably be "found" by the NaviMetrix™ algorithms based on your location, but the dates of the Expedition's proximity to your site and keyword searching are also possible.
In its simplest form, we would just include a link to your website. This is a simple option, but requires the software user to be online to see your information. It also means that if you ever change the links into your pages, our links break. We hope to provide database updates for downloads to registered users, but this requires efforts from you, us, and the user.
As a second option, you can provide us with images or web pages to include directly in our database. This option avoids the online requirement. Updates would still be possible using a downloading mechanism. USA Aloft prefers this option.
As a third option, from time to time, we travel the Trail to collect images. (In 2004, we traveled for two months from Astoria to St. Louis collecting ground based images.) Prior to each trip, we evaluate the list of sites we have accumulated and select some for visits. During those visits we might take images, including stereo, indoors and outdoors. (However, we should make it clear we are primarily set up for outdoor, daylight photography and do not travel with studio equipment necessary for elaborate indoor shots.) Depending on the subject, a visit may last an hour for some simple landscape shots to as much as a day for a complicated site with many historically significant features. We try to keep our schedule flexible so that we can adapt to weather, lighting and crowd conditions. (For example, it might be necessary to shoot at 6:00 am to avoid crowds at a popular location.)
Finally, a combination of these methods is possible.
Our database is focused on providing a non-commercial knowledge base about the Trail. If you are a commercial site (tourist bureau, motel, restaurant, etc) we still welcome your inquiry but we are unlikely to include purely commercial material in our database. You may wish to consider our authoring options which you could use to create a customized database that includes promotional material.
You should contact us, including the following information:
When we hear from you, we will acknowledge your communication.
With a database of over 50,000 images so far, we have some space constraints. We reserve the right to not include your material without cause. However, if we do elect not to include your site at this time, we will strive to let you know as soon as possible.
We try to make decisions about site visits prior to traveling. In any event, we would contact you as soon as possible in advance of such a visit. We can't promise to visit you. Our time and travel budget do not permit us to visit and photograph all of the locations in the detail that we would like. But if we are successful with our software release, we hope to continue making both flights and driving field trips to further document the Trail. Perhaps we can stop next time or return to add to our collection.
If we are not making a visit, we may still elect to include material about your site. In this case we will be in touch to discuss what form to use for your material. We will try to make this response even if we are on the road.
If we include your material or images we have made of your site, we will need to make certain that the appropriate release forms are executed. For images we take, the release form must be signed before we take pictures. For material you supply, those forms must be signed before we release the software or make the material available for download. Click here to see example release forms.