It can be a bit mind bending to look at a landscape today and realize just how altered it is from the original. Such is the case in Seattle as well as numerous other coastal communities along the shores of the Salish Sea. The Burke Gillman Museum has put together a remarkable on line exhibit of the shaping of the Seattle shoreline http://www.burkemuseum.org/waterlines/. The exhibit includes a You Tube video as well.
While the history and changes are interetsing, this type of historical work can be very important to geologists and engineers. In my own work, the most complex geology-like map with multiple cross-sections I ever produced was at a water front fill site. Entire mappable units of various fill materials. Good historic information and old maps can be critical for understanding development projects in urban areas.