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Conservation Template Project

The Conservation Template Project is a research project to support effective conservation GIS work in an online environment. It's 4 goals are:

     1. to extend GIS capabilities to conservationists who don't own GIS software
     2. to define valid online equivalents of typical desktop Conservation GIS workflows
     3. to develop & coordinate useful tools and standards that support online conservation GIS work
     4. to minimize impact on existing conservation web developers by focusing only on very basic online tools that are already publically available.

(Participants/Supporters of this project include the following: 
Snow Leopard Conservancy, TNC Atlas of Global Conservation,
World Wildlife Fund, Society for Conservation GIS)

Snow Leopard / UNEP-WCMC WDPA Parks Test

testParks data courtesy of: Unep-WCMC WDPA
testSnow Leopard Range Data courtesy of Dr. Rodney Jackson, Snow Leopard Conservancy

Map navigation using mouse:    View Source Code
Drag or Arrow Keys to pan
Mouse Scroll or +/- to zoom
Double Click to Center and Zoom in




Service/Viewer Tests:

Scgis Members Map test
TNC Plant Species Richness test
CBI Alberta Conservation Plan
Snow Leopard over Parks Test       
Wild Cats/No theme   
Snow Leo/Freshwater Ecoregions
Ecoregions as Basemap Test
Wwf Freshwater Regions Viewer
Simple Viewer test   Source Code webmap version Gallery open viewers
minimalistic w/logo
Embeddable as single line of code


Quick Links

Managing low cost web viewer project : Final Whitepaper (10mb docx)

Esri's Open Source programs

How to use the Javasript Templates API endpoint for
API endpoing for conservation


Conservation Template Project: Tasks

What is Conservation GIS work?
   collecting and managing conservation and ecological data
   conducting or supporting scientific research
   creating conservation plans
   collaborating with other institutions, resources, political, societal
   supporting conservation advocacy

How is Conservation GIS work done?
   preparing and sharing maps
   entering and managing raw data
   designing and operating models & analyses
   presenting and discussing conclusions

Task 1
   What is the simplest design for an online interactive map?
         1. Most data providers only serve images, not raw data, so
                symbology must be pre-defined.
         2. Layers need to be able to be combined but still visible.
         3. Needs to require only basic HTML and Javascript
                skills to implement so any webmaster can adopt it.
         4. All designs need to work interchangeably with any choice of complex
              basemap such as imagery, topo, streets, ecological or simple basemap
              such as physiographic or relief.

  Task 1: Test use cases: Thematic map designs
        1. Design and test a protected areas thematic map that works against both
              complex and simple basemaps.
            TEST SITE:
        2. Design and test an ecological regions or biomes thematic map that works
              against both complex and simple basemaps
            TEST SITE:       
        3. Design and test a vegetation communities basemap that works over
              complex or simple basemaps.
        4. Design and test a completed conservation plan for use as a thematic map
              over imagery, streets, political or topographic.

 Task 1: Test use cases: Complete map designs
        1. Endangered species range data visualized against Parks, Ecoregions and Plans.
TEST SITES:       
        2. Citizen Science/volunteer data visualized against a plan, ecoregions
        3. Natural Disaster event data ie fire visualized against any thematic base
        4. Proposed projects or impacts visualized against a plan
        5. Others based on suggestions

The Viewers and Serviceds above right test a map overlay design for conservation web mapping that we hope to release as a map template in the coming months. The basic principle builds from the ESRI effort to design global basemap services specifically for use as standards-based web cartography. For conservation, the task is then to add conservation thematic data on top of hose existing bases seamlessly. For those basemaps to be visible and useable, added themes need to have 2 types of transparency: viewer-based using variable controls, and/or data-based using symbologies that avoid solid fill polygons. The overlay design also classifies conservation layers into 2 basic types of data: Landscape data classifies the land into various wall-to-wall conservation categories, such as protected areas maps, conservation plans and land use maps. Operational data represents specific items that need to be symbolized within the landscape context, such as species ranges, tracking data, sightings, events and proposed projects. The goal of the conservation template is therefore to combine the basemap with a middle thematic layer of landscape data and a top operational layer. The project wiill also improve and expand how credits, logos and links can be embedded in map windows and viewers to ensure author acknowledgement. When complete, the Conservation Template will include: Example MXD files with custom symbologies for landscape and operational layers, javascript source code for transparency controls, and proposed feature classifications for different types of conservation maps and plans.

Conservation Template Project: Call

ECP wants your conservation data for a new online support project, the "Conservation Template"

Currently in the research phase, this is a new program to help you share your maps and your mission with your members, partners, donors and colleagues.
We are providing free hosting, GIS servers, service design and web map design support for anyone chosen to participate.  Besides creating a web map viewer for your web site your data can also be registered at Data Basin ( and, where you can create more advanced types of online maps and user groups and at Data Basin participate in specialized groups, programs and project centers devoted to conservation.

You will also be helping us better define what the meaningful workflows are for online
conservation GIS and what additional support, software or technology is needed to make
that work more effective.

The research site for this program is at:

If you want to participate, simplest thing to do is email the data you want to share to:
    ecp2 at esri dot com.  We can handle attachments up to 40mb. If larger contact us to work out an alternate method.   Please also include the following:
    -Include written permission for Esri to create a public map service from it and register
that service at Data Basin or or both.
    -include descriptions of what you use that data for and what you want to use it for,
you can refer to the example viewers listed under "Recent Additions" if you want
    -include URL's to existing web maps or graphics you may already have that show
how you want your map presented
    -include information on your current web site, if you have one, who is your webmaster
and how to contact them to help them integrate the viewer into your website.
    -please say if you have already discussed your online needs with any conservation web
development firms and who they are, as we do not wish to take away their business.

We will evaluate your submissions and let you know if you've been accepted into
this program.  Specific research tasks are listed below but we are currently interested in
any conservation data that you are currently using for real work and that you want to move
into an online environment.































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