NatureServe and National Geographic have teamed to build the conservation guide to America’s natural places called LandScope America. This ambitious and well-funded project will bring together detailed map views of protected lands and threatened species, with multimedia narratives and collaborative tools to encourage information sharing about best conservation practices. The intent of the site is to increase the pace and effectiveness of conservation action in the United States in the face of development pressures that consume 6,000 acres per day and 2 million acres each year.
The experience begins with an interactive map view with reference maps from Google, ESRI and National Geographic. Physical and topographic maps will be combined with one-meter satellite and aerial imagery, with thematic data managed and published by ArcGIS Server.
The project is the vision of Carl W. Knobloch Jr., an Atlanta-based businessman and philanthropist who founded the West Hill Foundation for Nature, and contributed $5 million seed money to launch LandScope. “America’s natural resources—things like clean water and fresh air, habitat for wildlife, and productive farmland and ranchlands—are just as important to sustaining our economic strength as the things we measure in the GNP,” said Knobloch. “I hope this project can create a sense of urgency for our government, private landowners, and all Americans to work together on a sufficient scale while there is still time to preserve our precious heritage.
The website now contains a good deal of information about the content and capabilities of this new system, with plans to launch the dynamic and interactive features later this year.