“Adirondack Park Agency.” Adirondack Park Agency GIS Use, http://apa.ny.gov/gis/APA_GIS_history.htm. Accesses 11.26.2019
A brief history of GIS use at the Adirondack Park Agency. In 1980, the Adirondack Park Agency became the first natural resource agency to make a commitment to GIS. The Agency is dedicated to basic cartographic standards, staff skill, and investing in cutting-edge technology. They cooperate in the New York State GIS Clearinghouse and currently provide mapped jurisdictional information daily to more than 40 staff. Data development initiatives have created base layers including roads, surface water, and municipal boundaries. Jurisdictional layers include zoning, regulatory wetlands, designated rivers, the park boundary, and various administrative data. The Agency has used U.S. EPA funded grants to study wetlands and watersheds, adding significantly to the geographic data and analysis information available to many parties in and around Adirondack Park.
Ball, Matt. “Helping Los Angeles Tackle the Need for Park Equity.” ESRI, 08.28.2017, http://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/blog/helping-la-tackle-park-equity/. Accessed 12.01.2019.
The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit that works with cities around the nation to turn vacant lots into parks. Los Angeles, like most metro areas, has struggled to maintain and improve citizen access to parks. Most parks are in the mountain areas surrounding Los Angeles, leaving the urban centers under-served. Los Angeles was the first place The Trust for Public Land applied geographic information system (GIS) software to help map priority places for parks. Using a buffer around existing parks, adding in population density and demographic data, GIS was able to identify who had access to parks and who didn’t. The Trust focused on communities that needed the parks the most, making sure that each park it develops serves a diverse and previously neglected community. The organization uses GIS tools and processes to help communities identify what to protect.
Ball, Matt. “Los Angeles County Funds Parks in Perpetuity.” ESRI, 09.11.2017, http://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/blog/los-angeles-funds-parks-in-perpetuity/. Accessed 12.04.2019
In 2016, Los Angeles County proposed Measure A to approve an annual tax for funding parks for the long term. Maps and other visuals showed proposed improvements and areas of greatest needs. The maps included population density, park access, available park acres, and overall need within the study area. To address transparency on where money is being spent, the measure calls for constant updates of maps designed to show where changes have been made, allowing citizens to see for themselves what had been improved. The Trust for Public Land wants a park within 10-minutes of every citizen. The County of Los Angeles averages just 50% of the people live that close to a park. The National Parks and Recreation Association has an established goal of 10 acres of park per 1,000 people, Los Angeles County has 3.3 acres. The hope is that with Measure A’s passing, new parks can be added and the lives of all residents can benefit from more green space.
Ball, Matt. “Los Angeles County Pinpoints Park Deficits.”ESRI, 09.05.2017, http://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/blog/los-angeles-county-pinpoints-park-deficits/ . Accessed 12.04.2019
Los Angeles County needed to show voters the benefits to funding parks. To determine what improvements were needed and where, they needed to understand the current state of the parkland. Leaders started with a comprehensive review of the county’s parks. Los Angeles County has 10 million residents across 88 cities and more unincorporated communities. Over 4,700 square miles of parks with no central record repository. Planners developed a GIS model to analyze park access using five central criteria. Parks per population; percentage of people within 10 minutes of a park; how much park is available in an area; what amenities in each park; what condition. Amenities were graded and costs to bring those amenities up to standard or add amenities to parks were calculated. A technical advisory committee analyzed the methodology and after the first run of the model, further tweaks were made. “With the deficits defined, Los Angeles County was prepared to reach out to voters.”
Brown, N. (2011, April). Park District Uses GIS to Map Public Opinion [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.athleticbusiness.com/park-district-uses-gis-to-map-public-opinion.html
East Bay (CA) Regional Park District has its own well-developed GIS department, long used to manage and plan its 64 parks. After a news story accusing the district of low diversity, they needed a new way to refute the claim. Charts and graphs did not settle the debate, so they turned to GIS. Using a phone survey system, the district created a map of customer opinion. In just four easy to read slides, they were able to show empirical evidence of social equality. They later used survey data and GIS analysis to help with the planning process, asking opinions on spending priorities and recreation opportunities. Taking public opinion and making it purely visual is a forward-looking way of thinking.
Knoer, J. and Weber, S. “Computer Maps for the Cultural Resources Planning” in Cultural Resources Management: A Technical Bulletin for Parks, Federal Agencies, States, Local Governments and the Private Sector (August 1988)
A bulletin by the Cultural Resource Management division of the National Park Service outlining the advantages of using GIS. Prioritizing the idea that GIS both requires and enhances inter-agency communication. Details about resources can be inputted by the many different entities concerned and then shared. Each party concerned can analyze for their own needs. Providing a common medium for sharing information. At the time of this bulletin, dozens of parks use GIS applications in their resource management programs with the help of the NPS Geographic Information Systems Division. The authors detail success stories where parks used data modeling to plan restoration projects and other parks use GIS to help predict and prevent forest fires. The bulletin ends by inviting readers to share their uses of GIS. This was dated 2003, still early in the history of using GIS in natural resource management.
Kovacs-Györi, A.; Ristea, A.; Kolcsar, R.; Resch, B.; Crivellari, A.; Blaschke, T. Beyond Spatial Proximity—Classifying Parks and Their Visitors in London Based on Spatiotemporal and Sentiment Analysis of Twitter Data. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf.2018, 7, 378.
This paper presents an improved method of using social media (Twitter) data to extract patterns of park visits for urban planning purposes, along with the sentiment of the tweets, focusing on frequent Twitter users. The authors begin with looking at the importance of parks or green space in an urban environment. “Parks are essential public places and play a central role in a city’s livability, primarily because of their role in offering social contact, exercise and restorative recreation.” But parks are expensive to build and maintain and governments want to know the parks are where they need to be and provide what the citizens need. This paper describes an analysis of park visiting behavior of more than 4000 twitter users in London, UK. The data included more that 11 million tweets in the greater London area in 2012. All tweets were geolocated and timestamped. The paper then shows the data processing workflow and lists possible limitations. The authors go on to describe their thought process behind how they evaluated each tweet and the results they came up with. The analyses brought new understanding to how parks are used. People tended to visit parks near their usual area of activity and that tweets were more positive when in a park versus other urban areas.
Layton, R. (2012/2013, Winter). Alexandria, Virginia, Gets serious About Park and Play Space Improvements. ArcNews, p.16. Retrieved from http://media.esri.com/publications/arcnews/winter1213/arcnews-winter1213.pdf
To combat childhood obesity, the City of Alexandria, Virginia preformed a study of public and semi-public play spaces. 86 play spaces were located and added to GIS through Aerial photographs, existing lists, and general knowledge of the Planning Department and Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Facilities. Each play space was then evaluated and given a score based on physical domain, social domain, natural domain, and free play. Each space was also designated a set of attributes, including such things as ease of access, perceived safety, access to water and restrooms. The consulting team used ArcGIS to map the locations and analyse play throughout the city. A heat map was generated to determine where a basic threshold of service was being provided, allowing planners to decide where play space should be improved or added.
Lori Field, A Study of the Application of GIS as an Advocacy and Planning Tool (Athans, Georgia; University of Georgia, 2003)
A thesis describing the use of GIS in historical preservation efforts by the National Park Service and other government or non-profit entities. The paper starts with a history of preservation programs in general, going through various laws the United States enacted as it realized the need to preserve and protect historical sites and artifacts. The US put historical resources and the documentation, preservation of those resources under the responsibility of the National Park Service. As GIS came into use, the National Park Service quickly realized is uses. The author cites papers from the NPS extolling the use of GIS. Local groups and governments could share inventory and GIS improves search and access across agency lines.
McCarthy, D. (1998). Applying GIS Technologies to CRM. Cultural Resource Management, 21(5), 34–35.
Historic preservation offices have more than five million cultural resources recorded on inventories nationwide. preservation professionals and scholars can use these inventories in new ways with the tools in geographic information systems. With GIS hardware and software create integrated and interactive map layers. Topography, waterways, roads, and cultural resources are represented as a layers. Each map element is tied to their attributes in an underlying database. Allowing users to query and build models. At the time of this article the author was a GIS specialist working on the MAPIT project helping local government agencies to maintain accurate and current information. Leading to better planning and decision-making.
National Park Service CRGIS Website http://www.nps.gov/crgis/ accessed 11.25.2019
This site is the introductory site to Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems (CRGIS). A program within the National Park Service tasked with developing and fostering the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS) technologies in documenting, analyzing and managing cultural resources. CRGIS works to compile and share information between various NPS units, state and tribal historic preservation groups and local agencies. CRGIS also works to develop tools and standards to facilitate data sharing. The article links to a current story of the April, 2019 Notre-Dame fire, highlighting the need for accurate documentation of historically important resources.
Rayo, B.J. (2004). Using GIS to Support Midland County Parks and Recreation Department’s Trail Management Plan (Master’s theses, University of Redlands). Retrieved from http://inspire.redlands.edu/gis_gradproj/79
Student worked on a year long project for the director of the Parks and Recreation Department, Midland County, Michigan. The department wanted use of something similar to the NPS Inventory and Monitoring program that was only available at the federal level at that time. Project problem was defined as the need of a more efficient way to manage maintenance of the trail system. At that time, the department director relied on old, non-georeferenced paper maps and 1998 aerial photography. The solution was to build GIS tools. ArcIMS was web based, allowing users to visualize specific park information such as restroom locations, parking availability, and trails. An ArcPad application to be available for park rangers to collect data in the field. And the ArcGIS extension for the director to perform managerial tasks specific to the needs of the department. The process started with a user needs assessment consisting of meetings, a high-level use case, a business-level use case, and refining user requirements. The project changed some through out the year, but the goals stayed the same. The process the project was build around produced deliverables that are not Midland County specific and can be incorporated into any other organization working with trails.
Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (Producer). (2014). GIS Applications In Outdoor Recreation Planning [Power Point slides]. Retrieved from http://www.recpro.org/assets/Library/Webinars/gis_applications_june2014.pdf
Webinar over-viewing the use of GIS in recreational planning. Planning requires the input from all the participants who value the recreation resource, input needs to be a meaningful exchange. It’s imperative that the planning process be science-informed and comprehensive. Including significant natural and cultural resources, uses, demands, and values. Participatory Geographic Information System (PGIS) is public involvement and stakeholder input, giving voice to the unspoken. The webinar discussed using citizens as sensors, using geographic information provided voluntarily by individuals. GIS tools to receive input need to be properly assessed for capacity, ease of use, target audience, and limitations. Relying solely on one data input method runs the risk of missing important voices.
Trimble (2010). Monitoring Conservation Easements and Preserve lands with GPS and GIS Technology. GIS Lounge, Retrieved from http://www.gislounge.com/monitoring-conservation-easements/.
Article describes the efforts made by the Coastal Mountains Land Trust to permanently preserve land. Working with landowners to conserve more than 8,000 acres, they now manage 58 individual preserves which are open to the public. Thanks to donations from the Norcross Wildlife Foundation and Trimble, Coastal Mountains Land Trust obtained a Trimble handheld with integrated GPS as well as Trimble Professional and GPS Pathfinder Office software to better manage and maintain data about its properties. The Trust is now able to map and maintain spatial information to assist in decision-making. They visit new property and use the handheld to mark boundaries, take photos, take note of streams, weeds, animal habitats and other land features. Back in the office, the data is imported into Pathfinder for post-processing and downloaded into a shapefile the Trust can use in ArcView GIS software. The GIS software is used to store and process ecological inventory studies, management plan development, public access management, trail development, boundary maintenance and monitoring, and habitat management. “From getting new land into our system to managing our stewardship program of existing land, having access to GPS and GIS technology is without a doubt making us a better organization”, Ian Stewart, stewardship director of Coastal Mountains Land Trust.
Wheeler, Carla (Host). Tropasso, Carrie, Bialousz, Michael (Guests). (November 3, 2014). A Story Map Success Story [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://feeds.esri.com/podspeaker.
Carla speaks to Carrie and Michael from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) at the 2014 Esri User Conference. GIS specialists describe how they used Esri Story Map to provide the public a one stop shop of data about available winter activities. The designer looked at different user story maps until she found one she liked, it was not a standard template, so she was able to work with Esri to get the custom code and them modify it for DCNR use. The Winter Activity Story Map is quite intricate allowing the public one place, available on any platform, to access maps, directions, photos, and even real time data from parks and forests. The story maps are very popular with the public and see high traffic. They an excellent supplement to all the DCNR web resources.