WASHINGTON (Sept. 27, 2004)—National Geographic and the National Park Service today signed an agreement to make the vast amount of geographic data collected in the parks more accessible to consumers and park officials through National Geographic’s innovative map technologies, including its popular MapMachine Web site (www.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine) and other consumer mapping projects and products.
National Geographic has championed America’s national parks for nearly a century through its magazines, maps, books, television programming and Web site. The signing of this agreement formalizes the relationship between the two organizations and paves the way for more collaborative efforts. The agreement was signed at an event at Ford’s Theatre, where the National Park Service also unveiled the completion of its Civil War Soldiers and Sailors (CWSS) System database.
More than 10 years in the making and perhaps one of the largest databases on the Internet, the CWSS System database holds more than 6.3 million names and includes regimental histories, digital images of monuments and national park battlefields. One of the first projects under the new agreement will be to marry the CWSS resource with National Geographic’s mapping technology and GIS software from ESRI, a GIS software leader that powers National Geographic’s award-winning MapMachine Web site.
“We are thrilled to announce the completion of this wonderful project,” said Fran Mainella, director of the National Park Service. “By making this database available to the millions of Americans who are descendants of Civil War soldiers, we are cultivating future stewards to help us preserve Civil War history. National parks are America’s link to our collective heritage, and it is our mission to make this history accessible to the public. Our alliance with National Geographic, one of the most respected educational and scientific institutions in the world, offers us the ability to maximize the content of this program in a way we could never do on our own. We assure that the public receives the best tools and technology to participate in celebrating and understanding the American experience.”
“National Geographic maps have been helping people explore the nation’s parks for decades,” said Allen Carroll, National Geographic’s chief cartographer. “Our maps are recognized around the world for their content, accuracy and beauty. This agreement will allow us to make our maps even richer and more up-to-date in a variety of user-friendly formats that will help people experience, appreciate and protect the amazing resources and sites in our national parks.”
About National Geographic Maps
National Geographic Maps is a cartographic world leader and has received every top industry award for its diverse mapping products. In addition to creating four supplements and more than 100 page maps a year for National Geographic magazine (the journal of the National Geographic Society), and maps for National Geographic television, books and other magazines. National Geographic Maps has a complete line of retail products, including Trails Illustrated maps, TOPO! digital mapping software, globes, atlases, wall maps, reference maps, state maps and city and recreational destination maps. National Geographic Maps also produces MapMachine kiosks and the award-winning Web site www.nationalgeographic.com/maps.
About the National Park Service
The National Park Service preserves the natural and cultural resources and values of nearly 400 units of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. These national treasures cover more than 84 million acres in every state (except Delaware), the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The NPS also manages a variety of programs in cooperation with multiple partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.