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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

LandScope America Set to Launch in Late 2008

LandScope America, an exciting new online conservation resource. Planned for release in late 2008, this interactive website will bring together maps, data and stories about natural places and present them in highly dynamic and accessible formats. We hope the result will both inform and inspire conservation of America’s incomparable lands and waters.

Maps are a wonderful way to relate information to the places that we care about, and are an essential component of the land protection tool kit. LandScope America will take advantage of recent advances in technology to provide users with a sophisticated, yet easy to user online mapping experience. Building off Geographic Information System (GIS) technology developed by industry-leader ESRI, the LandScope America map viewer will allow users to zoom smoothly from a national view to state and local perspectives. To enhance the users experience, they will be able to easily switch among different views of the landscape, including available aerial photography and detailed satellite imagery. Through the viewer’s flexible, easy-to-use interface, you can access critical data on the character and condition of the places you’re exploring, highlight your state’s natural areas, and examine the threats they face.

For its initial release in late 2008, LandScope America will provide the breadth of a national conservation picture, but will also “go deep” with information about places in five pilot states — Colorado, Florida, Maine, Virginia, and Washington. The next phase will expand narrative coverage to natural places across the country. Five natural heritage programs are playing lead roles in developing and integrating state content.

Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University

Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Florida State University

Beginning with Habitat -- A Collaboration between:

Maine Natural Areas Program, Maine Dept. of Conservation

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Virginia Division of Natural Heritage, Virginia Dept. of Conservation and Recreation

Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Dept. of Natural Resources

The Land Trust Alliance is contributing content, providing advice and expertise about the land trust community, and helping the project reach the nation’s 1,700 land trusts.

The Nature Conservancy is providing data on its ecoregional plans, and contributing to the development of other content.

LandScope America is a collaborative effort between NatureServe, the National Geographic Society and natural heritage programs.

LandScope America