About Roadmap to Research

Thank you for visiting Caltrans Road Map to Research. The interaction between transportation, land use, and the environment poses both challenges and opportunities for the protection of important natural and cultural resources. The Road Map to Research provides tools to support research, planning, and project delivery, as well as to foster better collaboration among tribes, Caltrans, and other partners toward the protection and treatment of California Indian heritage sites and places.  As tribal people possess unique knowledge and expertise about their ancestral lands, consultation with culturally affiliated tribal representatives on the research and interpretation of tribal heritage sites and places is essential. Visit the Native American Heritage Commission’s webpage for more information on how to contact tribal governments and tribal cultural representatives for consultation.

Our Research Tool allows users to quickly query by Caltrans District or by research topic to identify  publicly available sources of literature, archival, and collections information on California tribal cultural heritage, including language, music, ancestry, ethnographies, and more.  Before you start, check out the Tips and Tricks  tab to help make your research more successful.

Our Interactive Map Tool allows users to quickly access multiple layers of geographic data based on individual research needs, including an option to upload your own project area files (KML, GPX, or GeoJSON) for comparison on the map tool. Simply, click folder icon folder icon at the right side of the map to upload your file. The uploaded file is temporary and will not be saved or accessible to other users on this website.

Explore and compare previous research on contact-period Native California ethno-linguistic areas based on oral histories, ethnographic records, place-names, linguistics, population density, geography, Spanish and mission archives, and archaeology. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Caltrans' internal cultural resources technical reports, records, inventories, and collections information from past projects are confidential, but may be made available to tribes, researchers, and preservation professionals, as appropriate, upon request.  Contact the Caltrans Native American Cultural Studies Branch for further assistance.