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Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How do I print from CRGIS?

A. There are three ways to print from CRGIS:

  • Each resource details report has a printer icon in the upper right corner that can be used to print that report. 
  • Results lists from AskReGIS or the spatial search can be printed by using the Export function found at the top of each list. 
  • Maps can be printed by clicking on the gear in the box at the top of the map legend, selecting the Print Map option, and following the instruction.

Q. Can I print the National Register nomination form and photographs?

A. Yes, either pull down the file menu on the upper left corner of your toolbar and select "Print" or click on the printer icon on the upper left of the Adobe reader toolbar and a print menu will appear.

Downloading and Exporting

Q. Can I download and save the National Register nomination form pdf and photographs to my computer?

A. Yes, click on the square computer disk icon on the upper left corner of the Adobe Reader toolbar. From there, you can save the file to any directory on your computer.

Q. Exporting a results table from AskReGIS is unsuccessful.

A. Check your Internet Options security settings. Make sure that both the "Automatic prompting for file downloads" and "File download" are enabled.


Q. What are Resource Category classifications and what do they mean? Is there a difference between a building and a site?

A. The National Register requires a "resource type" be assigned to each property. Resource types include Buildings, Sites, Structures, Objects, and Districts. For definitions and examples of these resource types, please click here to view the National Register Bulletin - How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation.

Q. What are "Aggregate Files"?

A. Please note: Aggregate files do not represent historic resource surveys and there are no paper files for these Aggregate File keynumbers.

Aggregate files are historic railroad lines mapped within the CRGIS. Users will notice long linear resources on the maps that may overlap shorter segments. Because railroad lines transverse many municipalities and counties, you may see the same keynumber for many different locations. When you view the details for these features, their historic name will include the words "Aggregate File."

The Aggregate Files help researchers better understand the history and significance of individual railroad lines and related resources by bringing together and mapping surveyed components of a railroad line. The components of the railroad line are noted in the report window as "Associated Resources." Brief railroad histories, lineage files, have also been created from various sources, and will appear as a .pdf document within the CRGIS Aggregate File report display to further assist the user.

Please note: Aggregate files do not represent historic resource surveys and there are no paper files for these Aggregate File keynumbers.

AskReGIS Database Search

Q. The same property displays multiple times in the search results. Why?

A. Some properties exist in more than one county or municipality and some properties have more than one historic name. A property may be displayed multiple times - once for each county/municipality in which it occurs by each name that is recorded. Each unique resource has its own Keynumber. One property may be listed under two or more municipalities or names those records have the same Keynumber, they are the same resource.

Q. How do I find an inventory item within a district?

A. Individual properties within a district may be listed in our files as inventory items for the district. They will show in the AskReGIS search as all having the same Keynumber, but different INVIDs. They can be searched by address or name, but the results will show you all of the listings for the district. Not all districts currently have their associated INVIDs included. For those, look at the links on the details page of the district listing to see if there is an attached inventory.

Mapping and Spatial Search

Q. Why are the resources shown in different colors?

A. Above ground resources are color coded by the National Register status of the resource. Archaeological sites are color coded by whether they are prehistoric, historic, or contain materials from both broad time periods. Please consult the legend to determine the values associated with each color.

Q. What is a Spatial Query and how does the buffer zone work?

A. Use this tool to return results within or touching a shape you draw on the map. Map the area in which you are interested. Use the Spatial Search tools on the left side of the map. Select a spatial query shape (polygon, point, or line) and a unit of measure (meters, feet, or miles) and enter the number of units in the textbox on the left. Click "Go" and draw you area; use a double-click to end the shape. The Spatial Summary window will open showing data for the entire buffered area and an orange polygon that includes your drawn area and its buffer will appear on the map. The search results will include all of the unmapped resources and historic survey reports within any municipality touched by the shape and a summary of the archaeological sites in any watersheds touched.

Q. What are "Unmapped Historic Sites"?

A. During a spatial search, CRGIS searches the database for records that match your locational criteria. "Unmapped Historic Sites" are historic resources within the township(s) you selected but they are not mapped. Data about an unmapped historic resource can be opened by clicking on it. Project planners, please be aware that these resources may be within your project area.

Q. Are all surveys mapped?

A. No. Phase I archaeological surveys are mapped. Since Phase II and Phase III investigations are, by definition, done within sites, their locations are not mapped in order to preserve the security of the site locations. Historic surveys frequently involve varying levels of survey over entire municipalities or other large areas and have not been mapped at this time to avoid confusion on the maps.

Q. Are all historic building mapped?

A. No. We map resources at the level at which they are recorded. If the resource that is recorded is a district, there will be only one polygon for the entire district, regardless of how many buildings may be included. We also have many older resource forms that do not include map locations. These are the resources that will show as "Unmapped Historic Sites" in the spatial search. NOTE: some older districts may include mapping of individual buildings. They show as orange triangles (point data) within district polygons.


Q. How do I reference the CRGIS for research?

A. Use the following format. Change the date with date accessed: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 17 September 2008. .

Q. Who do I contact for further assistance?

A. You may email the CRGIS section or call the State Historic Preservation Office at 717-783-8946.T