How the National Park Service Uses GIS

A new book demonstrates how the National Park Service uses GIS technology to meet its mission and showcases a selection of maps used for effectively managing national parks.

July 13, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By clementkhlau @clemusc


National Parks

DanielNevares / Shutterstock

If you love national parks and maps, you will probably be interested in a new book published by Esri, which is well-known for its geographic information system (GIS) products. 

Written by National Park Service (NPS) staff, Mapping America’s National Parks: Preserving Our Natural and Cultural Treasures showcases maps used for managing parks effectively, including protecting natural and cultural resources, ensuring public safety, working with communities and partners, and planning for fire. These maps reflect the research and science underpinning the data they depict, as well as the use of GIS technology to meet the NPS mission:

[To] conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations

To achieve this mission, the NPS relies heavily on maps not only to help visitors with orientation and navigation, but also to tell interpretive stories about things not readily apparent.

 

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