We’re Beginning an Exciting GPS/GIS Mapping Project
We’re excited to announce the beginning of an ambitious project utilizing a GPS/GIS mapping system to record the coordinates and horticultural information for our non-annual plant material.
Using ArcGIS software, provided through a grant by ESRI, we will gather information to create a layered, interactive map of the Garden, including a plant database, which will be used by our horiculture staff and be added to our website. We plan to eventually create a mobile app, as well as a touch-screen kiosk in the Visitor Center that will provide an interactive map, personal tours and extensive plant information. Read More
“Only a handful of gardens throughout the world have done this type of extensive GPS mapping, so we will be one of a select group in the nation to really adopt the technology,” explained Beth Maurer, GPS mapping project coordinator. “We’re excited to provide our visitors with a more user-friendly and educational experience.”
Eventually, we plan to assign QR codes for all plant tags that will take visitors to the plant database, where they can learn what the plant is, where it grows best and where to buy it. Throughout the program, we are also partnering with Chemeketa Community College to share the information and photos gathered for use in educational lessons and projects.
The mapping project is estimated to take a minimum of two years to complete the database, and will include an on-going component that captures the movement, removal and addition of plant materials. The website, mobile app, and other external uses will likely be launched in 2016.
The Oregon Garden Foundation is seeking donations to purchase additional specialized equipment for the project, including a GPS Unit and software. Interested donors can visit the Oregon Garden Foundation page on Network for Good, (include GPS Mapping Project as the gift designation), or mail a contribution, tagging the GPS Mapping Project, to The Oregon Garden Foundation, PO Box 155, Silverton, OR 97381.
Other Gardens Using this Technology
Other gardens that have used this technology include Chicago Botanic Garden, Missouri Botanic Garden, San Francisco Botanical Gardens, UC Davis Arboretum, Atlanta Botanic Garden, San Diego Botanical Gardens, amongothers. For a complete list of horticulture organizations that have worked with ESRI, visit the Alliance for Public Gardens GIS at www.apgg.org.
We are also seeking volunteers for the physical mapping. Teams of two to three people will be assigned a bed in the Garden, where they will collect the GPS coordinates of the plant, and take photos and notes. Teams will meet once a week; to volunteer, please contact the volunteer coordinator Beth Maurer at email@example.com or 503-874-2533.
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