Gap Analysis Program (GAP) Protected Areas and Land Cover Data Viewer

This geographic website is for the Gap Analysis Program (GAP) Viewer of the USGS for Protected Areas and Land Cover Data.

Separated into two different viewers for user clarity, the viewers provide users ranging from the public to professional land managers a spatially explicit inventory of the Protected Areas of the United States and a consistent nation-wide inventory of vegetation and land-use patterns for the United States.

This compilation of data types for the Gap Analysis Program is being served by the United States Geological Survey for aid in conservation, land management, planning, and recreation, amongst other uses.  In order to increase collective knowledge, these interactive maps are designed to disseminate up to date, concise, and specific data to facilitate the planning and management of biological diversity on a local, regional, and national scale.

Data viewers like these can be exceptionally helpful to both grab data and see data without the need to use any local semblance of a Geographical Information System.  In accordance with our national park projects and our final projects, I could see these viewers becoming exceedingly helpful in data gathering and analysis.  I encourage you to check them out and see how you can utilize them!



Brilliantmaps: Making Sense Of The World, One Map At A Time

Have you every thought about how many times Scotland’s population could fit inside England, or wondered how many countries have been affected by the current ‘Panama Papers’ scandal, or maybe imagined how the world would look in Harry Potter’s eyes? Maybe? O.k. maybe you’re not that curious…. But we have all scoured the internet to find the perfect map to explain a certain phenomena in our research papers and powerpoint presentations. Well…Brilliantmaps is here for you! Brilliantmaps is the holy grail of maps!

Even if you are not obsessed with cartography, Brilliantmaps has something for everyone. The site regularly updates its content with interactive maps covering everything from current developments such as the Syrian Refugee Crisis to classic maps showing European’s view of the world in the beginning of the colonial era. For the true map lovers out there, the site ups the ante, allowing users to use scratch map templates to create their own maps and showcase it to the world. There is also a list of recommended board games that breathe a breath of fresh air into map making. Have a mentioned the Facebook page? And the newsletter? Brilliantmaps is brilliant because it provides a framework for integrating maps into our everyday life.

Check out some of my favorite maps below and don’t forget to take a look at the thousands of maps available on the website:

The Pan American Highway


UK regions compared to US States


The Travel Bucket List


Go get your map on! You will be surprised at the power of mapping!