About the Cover Image

Baltimore, Md. is an ideal city to be featured in this Fall Imaging Notes issue, which provides primary focus on security and defense. Baltimore is featured prominently in the article about new developments in municipal security on page 24, and as a major port city, itís also relevant for the transportation security report beginning on page 10.

As Marylandís biggest city and one of the nationís busiest ports, Baltimoreís position at the end of the Patapsco River that feeds into Chesapeake Bay gives the city easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, so the city became an important port and shipbuilding center. It was home to a large number of U.S. Navy vessels, as well as the famously swift Baltimore clipper ships that destroyed or captured many of the British merchant ships during the War of 1812. Baltimore played a crucial role in the War of 1812, when soldiers, stationed at Fort McHenry, successfully held off a British attack on Baltimore. That victory for Baltimore was commemorated in a poem by Francis Scott Key and is now our national anthem.

When the war ended in early 1815, Baltimoreís overseas trade was principally with the Caribbean Islands and South America, regions undergoing economic and social changes. At the same time, the American frontier was pushing even farther west, threatening to leave Baltimore behind in its economic wake. The State of Maryland concentrated its efforts on completing the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, designed to link the Potomac and Ohio River valleys, but the City of Baltimore supported an overland link in the form of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Although the two competed for routes and freight, to the eventual ruin of the canal and the financial embarrassment of the state, Baltimoreís railroad reached Cumberland in 1842 and, by 1874, stretched to Chicago.

Much of the city was destroyed in a 1904 fire, but Baltimore came back and continues to evolve while holding on to its maritime heritage. Since 1600, Baltimore waterways have been a passage for ships carrying commercial cargo and new citizens. It lies farther west than any other major Atlantic port, a point that endeared its harbors to shippers. More than 30 million tons of cargo pass through the port of Baltimore every year. (Information from www.baltimore.org.)

This IKONOS 1-meter image from Space Imaging was collected on November 4, 2003.

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