National Trails System GIS Network

About the Network

The National Trails System GIS Network was formed in 2011 and includes representatives from agencies that administer national trails as well as members of trail associations, scholars conducting trail research, and affiliates from educational institutions. Our mission is to connect the diverse array of staff and partners who use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and mapping products in their work as well as to facilitate the sharing of information and tools that help us do our jobs more efficiently and innovatively. The network is open to all who are interested.

More information on joining the National Trails System GIS Network

Monthly Webinar Series

Join fellow GIS Professionals and Trail Advocates from across the country on our monthly webinars hosted on the third Tuesday of each month.

November 2017

Presentation: Guthrie Alexander, Conservation Program Manager, Continental Divide Trail Coalition; Slide Kelly, GIS/Conservation Seasonal Specialist, Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Producing Half Mile Scale Hiking Maps for the Continental Divide Trail

The CDTC has never produced a map set suitable for hiking the CDT that highlights the NST route. The existing 3rd party produced maps that have either a high cost to trail users or provided hiking information that is not always consistent with the intent or management direction of the CDT. Our goal was to produce a free community resource for the CDT using modern and authoritative data in a manner that was easy to maintain and update for the future.

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October 2017

Presentation: Brian Riordan, Customer Success Lead, Strava Metro

Big Data for Monitoring Trails and Recreation

This is presentation is an exploration of an app-based big data solution to see how groups have been using Strava to gain insights into bike/ped movements on trail networks. It looks at how big data is being used and why it is so key for this data to be used in new ways by groups with large regions of land and trail networks. We will dive into the growth of Strava, Geo functions around the company and how Strava Metro is being used now to monitor trail systems. We will also discuss the future of app technology and explore how to use the information to make the best planning and investment choices. Here is a chance to learn about a 5+ trillion point GPS database and get feedback to the top of Strava. Understand what is available now to help with mapping, editing, elevation and trail use.

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September 2017

Discussion: Sarah Quinn, External Renewable Energy Program Lead, National Park Service; Jill Jensen, Archaeologist, Old Spanish Trail, National Park Service

Balancing Public Data with Resource Protection

How can we create maps and provide data easily while protecting the resources of our National Trails? How can we best and responsibly represent trail resources? Join us for a discussion with representatives from the National Park Service’s Environmental Compliance, Renewable Energy, and Resource Protection on the benefits and risks of mapping and how better maps can lead to better resource conflict avoidance and protection.

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August 2017

No call

July 2017

Presentation: Chelsea Bodamer, Partnership for the National Trails Sytem

NPS ArcGIS Open Data

The Partnership for the National Trails System has recently developed a new online forum. Before its official release to the public, Chelsea would like to present the new interface, and open the discussion up for feedback and advice from the NTS GIS community.

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June 2017

No call

May 2017

Presentation: Paul Voris, National Park Service

NPS ArcGIS Open Data

NPS ArcGIS Open Data is a public facing website where data can be discovered and shared with users or referenced in IRMA and can be easily downloaded in a variety of formats. The site collects data from groups designated as Open Data within our organization and presents it to the public in an easy to use interface.  The data can be used directly from a service such as a hosted feature service or map service or it can be downloaded as a Shapefiles, File GeoDatabases, or accessed through the GeoJSON API.

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April 2017

Presentation: Lisa Johnson, Boise State University

America’s Public Parks and Protected Areas: Introducing the Improved Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US)

America’s tremendous asset base of protected areas is critical for conservation planning, natural resource management, outdoor recreation, public health and more. These include national parks and forests, wildlife sanctuaries, state beaches and parks, county open space, city parks, land trust preserves, conservation easements, marine protected areas and more. Altogether, over 3 billion acres (with overlapping designations) are managed by thousands of public agencies and non-profit organizations that serve current and future generations. A complete and current database of these places is a critical tool to achieve organizational missions across jurisdictions. The 2016 PAD-US update (1.4), published by USGS, includes the best available geospatial representation of federal, state and other protected areas with descriptors like owner / manager name, designation type, unit name and other information useful for various applications. Join us to learn about America’s official inventory of protected areas, applications, relationships to National Trails data, our strategy to complete the inventory by 2020, viewers, tools and opportunities to engage.

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March 2017

Discussion: Matthew Rowbotham, North Country Trail Association

Developing a Web Forum for National Trails System GIS

Topics for discussion may include: included content, strategies for implementation, web hosting, and a discussion of examples. Your participation is welcomed and encouraged!

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February 2017

Discussion: Peter Bonsall, National Park Service

Developing a comprehensive National Trails System GIS data layer and web map

In September, a concerted effort was made to aggregate a National Trails System GIS layer for use in Argon National Laboratory’s energy corridor assessment tool. As a result, all of the National Trails System data is now aggregated in one location. The next step is to discuss how we can come to a consensus and make a public GIS layer, especially in light of the National Trails System Act 50th Anniversary. Topics for discussion may include 1) Strategy for implementation; 2) FTDS attributes; 3) Hosting the data; and 4) How to address sensitivity issues.

White Paper

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January 2017

Presentation: Ryan Abrahamsen, Terrain 360

Virtually Touring the National Trails – Providing 360° Imagery and Interactive Panoramic Maps along National Trails and Waterways

Terrain360 has been commissioned to map the waterways of the Captain John Smith National Scenic Trail. We will discuss our process, data management, challenges for large scale projects and ways to use and incorporate and disseminate this data. We will also discuss other projects including using machine learning object detection in our imagery, crowd sourcing imagery and GIS data for hiking trails and possible partnership with REI (adventure projects) to map National scenic trails and national parks.

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Are you interested in being a presenter for the National Trails System GIS Network or do you have a topic to suggest? Send us an e-mail at ntsgis@webmail.itc.nps.gov