LandScope America, the land conservation collaboration between NatureServe and the National Geographic Society, recently won the award for “Best Thematic Map” from the Cartography and Geographic Information Society for their Natural States of America map [pdf]. One side of the map shows the protected lands in the U.S., and the other shows areas that are currently under threat to development.
Landscope America has been hard at work since their launch in the summer of 2008. The Landscope America website is now in Beta, with base maps from Microsoft Virtual Earth and thematic data managed and published using ArcGIS Server 9.3. The map viewer has been built using the ArcGIS Server Flex API.
The map interface includes referenced photos and videos, and users can explore the themes of: conservation priorities, protected areas, threats, ecosystems, plants and animals. You can also create a customized theme where you identify and draw on the base layer to save and share your own local knowledge.
The site provides rich resources for individuals and organizations interested in land conservation. There are educational details for understanding conservation priorities, and guidelines for planning conservation projects.
In addition to the full country map view, there are state-by-state pages with much more information about activities, areas of interest and local organizations. Currently there are five pilot states with this extensive information: Colorado, Florida, Maine, Virginia and Washington. The plan is to have all 50 states completed with this fine detail by the end of 2011.
My guess is that LandScope America will be a prominent feature at this summer’s ESRI International User Conference in San Diego.