As a part of a strategic goal to support the collection management and plant conservation by our member gardens, the American Public Gardens Association has extended its partnership with Esri by renewing an agreement that provides low cost GIS software to our member gardens, along with free training, books and free registration for garden staff at the Esri International User Conference—a tremendous week-long professional development opportunity for garden curators and GIS specialists, attended by more than 10,000 GIS and conservation scientists from around the world.
At the same time, thanks to the leadership of the UC Davis Arboretum and Esri staff, we are delighted to announce a simpler application process for our botanical gardens, arboreta, and zoological parks member gardens that wish to request Esri GIS software to map and manage their living collections. A brief email is now all that is required to get the process underway!
Esri offers mapping and information management software to botanical gardens, arboreta, and zoological parks that wish to develop their GIS capabilities for managing botanical or horticultural information.
Our new 2012-2015 APGA-Esri agreement emerged from a shared goal of developing the capacity of botanical gardens to contribute toward the conservation of plant diversity by providing those who manage ex situ collections with access to leading-edge information management and mapping tools at low cost, in order support their efforts to increase public awareness, understanding and concern for plants and their conservation by telling vivid stories and sharing knowledge via maps and other visual tools.
Whether the “story” you are telling is where the trees needing major tree service work are located, or showing visitors what the native range of a truly special wild-collected plant in your collection looks like, or simply illustrating what is in the collection and where it is, maps can be a powerful communication tool for visitors and for managers.
The work of the APGA at a major exhibit at the 2012 Esri User Conference. Under the leadership of Mia Ingolia at the UC Davis Arboretum, our plant conservation work was exhibited featuring the collections of Desert Botanical Garden, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, the Montgomery Botanical Garden, the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, Missouri Botanical Garden, and the UC Davis Arboretum.
If you are considering GIS as a possibility and hope to learn more or if you are already an advanced GIS specialist with complex software needs, get involved with The Alliance for Public Gardens GIS (APGG), a network of public garden staff dedicated to making geographic information systems easier to use for living collection management. The Alliance also hosts an active discussion group on LinkedIn (280+ members) that provides peer-to-peer advice to botanical garden staff as they map and manage their beautiful, complex, and scientifically important living collections.