Emporia, Kansas
J.S. and S.W. Aber

Emporia, Kansas

Emporia is a city of about 25,000 inhabitants in east-central Kansas. Situated near the confluence of the Neosho and Cottonwood rivers, it is known as the "twin-rivers" city. Emporia has been and remains a transportation crossroads. It is on the mainlines of the BNSF Railway (former Santa Fe railroad), and is the junction point for several highways—Kansas Turnpike, I-35, U.S. 50, and Kansas 99. Other major industries are related to agriculture, manufacturing, wind energy, and higher education. Emporia also has become a touristic and recreational destination particularly for disc golf and bicycle racing.

Map of Emporia, Kansas.

Most of the following pictures were acquired in late winter and spring of 2017. The main purpose was to test various new and older cameras and rigs for kite aerial photography. Dave Leiker, Dennis Wiley, and Toshiro Nagasako provided assistance flying the kites and operating the camera rigs. We utilized public parks as our venues in different parts of the city. Additional sites acquired at other times include the Sacred Heart Cemetery and Emporia State University—see ESU.


Jones Park – Winter views
Northwestern Emporia
Overviews. Left: looking toward the northwest. The city water treatment plant is marked by the blue water tanks in the left distance. This is the highest point in the city. Right: view toward the southeast. Maplewood Cemetery occupies the middle distance of this scene.
Jones Park hosts a disc golf course that meanders around the area. These views cover portions of the course, for which trees and ponds form numerous obstacles. Looking toward the northwest (left) and northeast (right).
Close-up shots of the flagpole and sculpture on the central hill (left) and some people having a picnic between large cedar trees (right). Note disc golf tees (concrete pads) and baskets. These winter shots were taken just before prairie grass was burned in late February.

Jones Park – Spring panorama
Looking toward northeast at scene center.
Assembled from three overlapping images.


Las Casitas Park – Winter views
Southwestern Emporia
Overviews looking toward the northwest (left) and east (right) with the BNSF Railway switching yard in the foreground and city beyond.
Left: close-up view of the former roundhouse that was used to service and repair steam locomotives. It was built in 1926-28 and torn down in 1983, but the foundation remains. It spanned 200° and had 30 stalls accessed by a turntable at the center. Right: airphoto from the mid-1940s showing the roundhouse.
Vertical shots of wind-turbine blades stored temporarily in the BNSF Railway depot. Horizontal and diagonal displays; service truck for scale is about 20 feet (~6 m) long.

Peter Pan Park – Winter and spring views
Southern Emporia
Overviews from Peter Pan Park. Left: looking straight northward. Riverside elementary school appears on the left side. Right: view toward northeast. Downtown buildings appear in the center distance.
Overviews from Peter Pan Park. Left: looking eastward. Bunge oilseed processing plant in left background. Right: view toward southeast showing the Emporia Zoo, Kansas highway 99, the Cottonwood River, and its floodplain.
Cottonwood River low-oblique (left) and close-up vertical (right) winter views. The tree with white bark is sycamore, which often grows on floodplains and beside stream channels in eastern Kansas.
The disc golf course at Peter Pan Park is quite popular. These winter (left) and spring (right) views show the pond, numerous trees, playground equipment, and other obstacles on the course. Many discs end up in the pond!

Peter Pan Park – Color-infrared spring views
Southern Emporia
Normal color (left) and color-infrared (right) images of the pond. The color-infrared camera is sensitive to blue, green, and near-infrared; the latter is portrayed as red in the image. Active vegetation appears bright orange, and water bodies are dark blue. Shadow of kite appears on the pond near center of each image.
Normal color (left) and color-infrared (right) images looking toward the west. The color-infrared camera is sensitive to blue, green, and near-infrared; the latter is portrayed as red in the image. Active vegetation appears bright orange, and water bodies are dark blue. Cottonwood River on left side.

Whittier Park – Early spring views
Eastern Emporia
Overviews from Whittier Park, also known as Sertoma Park. Left: looking toward the northwest. Ninth Avenue crosses the scene, and the water tower on 12th Avenue appears in the right background. Right: view toward the southeast. Sixth Avenue runs across the center of the scene.
Baseball is the major sports attraction in this park. Sertoma baseball diamonds 2 and 3 (left) and the Kiwanis T-ball complex (right). The railroad on right is the BNSF Railway route to Topeka.
Close-up shot of distinctive shadows cast by bare deciduous trees in the late winter.

Sacred Heart Cemetery – Autumn views
Southeastern Emporia
Superwide-angle shots looking toward the southwest (left) and northwest (right). Industrial Park III in the foreground. The large building (left) is the Hill's Pet Nutrition plant.
Left: view toward the northeast showing a coal train on the BNSF Railway mainline route to Kansas City. Right: nearly the whole cemetery appears in this view. Kite flyers standing on right side.
Near-vertical shots from high (left) and low (right) positions show arrangement of tomestones, grave markers, and other monuments. Faint mowing patterns are visible in the well-maintained lawn.

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All text and images © by the authors (2017).