Mapping America's National Parks: Preserving Our Natural and Cultural Treasures

Mapping America's National Parks: Preserving Our Natural and Cultural Treasures


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Get an insider look at the US National Park Service to see how they use maps and geospatial technology to protect and manage America’s national parks.

Maps easily cap your first greeting upon arrival at a national park, allowing you to visualize its vastness, plan your trip, and keep a compact souvenir of your visit. But for the US National Park Service (NPS), maps do more than provide guidance and navigation. Maps help the NPS protect visitors and natural resources. They help manage fires, both unplanned and prescribed. They provide a basis for preserving cultural resources, such as archaeological sites and historic buildings, and for establishing needed facilities, infrastructure, and transportation.

The maps in Mapping America’s National Parks: Preserving Our Natural and Cultural Treasures are not only beautiful representations of special places. Within the maps are layers of geographic information—a bevy of research and science—that the NPS uses to perform these myriad essential services and to ultimately fulfill their mission.

With over 240 full-color maps and photographs of national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, scenic rivers and trails, and more, Mapping America’s National Parks takes you on a journey through our most treasured locations and shows how geographic information system (GIS) software helps the NPS keep the balance between park enjoyment and preservation.

Through stories told by their own staff, discover how GIS helps the NPS:

  • provide security for individual wildlife species, members of a crowd at a peaceful demonstration, and entire ecosystems;
  • analyze where people most likely are stranded, where they are least likely stranded, and distribute assets in search and rescue operations;
  • develop strategic plans, budgets, and protection for fire management; and
  • share intelligence on wildlife trafficking, zoonotic diseases, field medicine protocols, and more.  

Go behind the scenes to see how mapping and geospatial analysis support the full range of NPS natural resource stewardship and science activities. With NPS planning aided by geospatial technology, future generations of park visitors—your children and their children—will be able to enjoy our national parks for years to come.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781589485464
Publisher: Esri Press
Publication date: 04/20/2021
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 142,796
Product dimensions: 9.90(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

"As this beautiful and important book demonstrates, maps are still intertwined with everything associated with 'America’s best idea'—from helping millions of visitors navigate their own journeys of discovery to helping the National Park Service better manage the wildlife and landscapes it protects and preserves for future generations. As Honorary Park Rangers—and lifelong lovers of maps—we’re thankful to Esri for continuing this great tradition."

--Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, excerpt from Foreword

Table of Contents




 1. Cartography in the National Park Service

The Evolution of Park Maps

2.  Recreation

Enjoying the Parks

3.  Visitor and Resource Protection

Protection and Emergency Services for the Parks

4.  Managing Fire

GIS for Planning, During and After Fire Response

5.  Natural Resources

Protecting and Sustaining Natural Resources

6.  Cultural Resources

Caring for Cultural Resources

7.  Facilities, Infrastructure and Transportation

Establishing Facilities, Infrastructure and Transportation

8.  Working with Communities and Partners

Cultivating Community and Partner Relationships

9.  Park Management

Supporting Park Management

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