CASE STUDY

Conservation Patagonia and Round River Conservation Studies

Quick Summary

Conservacion Patagonica creates national parks that restore wildlands and wildlife, inspire care for the natural world, and generate healthy economic opportunities in Patagonia, a region located at the southern end of South America.  Created by Conservation Patagonica, the future Patagonia National Park represents a 650,000-acre expanse of mountains, grasslands, forests, wetlands, rivers and alpine lakes located in Chile’s Aysen Region.

Conservacion Patagonica partnered with Round River Conservation Studies, a provider of student study abroad programs and extensive field research and community planning, to generate baseline-mapping data about plants and wildlife in the region.

The Challenge

While government survey maps provided an accurate rendering of the terrain, Round River found that they did not readily support data collaboration and customization. Scarce Internet connectivity in the region limited the usability of applications that use connections to Web map services. Lastly, as independent scientific researchers were consistently uncovering new information, the project required a dynamic, shareable system.

With this in mind, Round River created a platform that encouraged collaboration among the various people working in the park: the wildlife recovery team, independent scientists, the trail building team, historians and archeologists and others.

The Solution

The organization turned to TerraGo for creating customizable GeoPDF® maps for creating spatially referenced data (map layers) in the form of point, line, or polygon features and that could be added to the map using simple drawing tools within the TerraGo Toolbar. Users could then create geo-located mark-ups and add descriptive information about plant, wildlife and other features.

The Results

During the summer of 2012, a team of Round River students conducted a grassland survey that identified and catalogued the composition of grass species at hundreds of sites. These study site locations were recorded as waypoints in a GPS, and easily added to the GeoPDF maps using TerraGo Toolbar® for easy collaboration and sharing. The students then added photos, text and other media directly to these map locations, which helped to build a detailed information base that any user can view and edit. Round River Conservation Studies then aim to share these custom map layers with other interested parties.

The GeoPDF maps play a key role for Round River Conservation Studies and Conservacion Patagonica staff, as well as for independent scientists who regularly study in the region. Prior to deploying TerraGo software, there was no central repository for updating and managing all geospatial data regarding the park.

Moving forward, the organizations are mapping other wildlife values in the region, and using GeoPDF products to get the work done.
“We needed the right tools for letting the scientific community at large what we are protecting in this delicate ecosystem. Now anyone can easily make notes on the GeoPDF and share them instantly with other scientists and collaborators. We learned that it is vital to keep all geospatial systems simple enough for anyone to use. By leveraging TerraGo’s software and GeoPDF solution, we were able to provide enhanced collaboration in a streamlined and easy way.” Rick Tingey