About the Geoglyphs and this Website

Modern Geoglyphs are letters on hillsides created in the last 100 years. They generally represent a school - mostly high schools and some colleges. Traditionally, the graduating class repaints the letter and adds their graduating year to the glyph. Many are no longer maintained and are fading away. Others appear to be new in the last few years indicating a resurgence in school pride.

I've seen the hillside letters in Montana and other western states for years. With fantastic new aerial photography on Google Earth, I started looking at these letters expecting to find 25 or 30. To my surprise, there are at least 100 and I keep looking for more! This inspired me to compile this website and share this interesting phenomenon of modern geoglyphs.

I'll add more states and other features over time, but Montana geoglyphs is a great start.

Aerial Photography

Statewide coverage available from NRIS was used for two generations. First, I used color photography from by USDA at a resolution of 1 meter for August 2005. For some reason, the M in Bozeman was omitted.

Statewide black and white coverage at a resolution of 1 meter from USGS was also used. The dates range from 1990 to 2003, but is mostly 1995 in western Montana and 1996 in eastern Montana.

These two sets are shown at the same scale on this site. This means letters that look bigger, really are. 

A few urban areas have higher resolution color photography from 2004 thanks to grants from the Department of Homeland Security. 

Of course, Google maps has great photography for most of the state. It appears to be one to two foot resolution. This is copyrighted, so I've linked to Google Maps in accordance with their terms.

I also included links to Google Earth kmz files for each letter. This is the same photography as Google maps, but the exaggerated topography in 3D is fantastic for visualizing the hills. 

Ground Photography

Initially, I don't have many ground photos. I didn't start taking photos until August 2007, so there are just a few. Over time and more traveling, I'll add more. Users are welcome to submit photos, too.

Enjoy the site and remember to add your comments or submit photos.

Curt in Montana