Building an Agile, Modern, and Open Geospatial Platform

Posted on 07 Mar 2014 by Nate Irwin

I had the privilege of presenting last month to the American Society for Photogammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) on the work we are doing on NPMap. In the webinar, I talked about some of the lessons we've learned over the last few years and also gave an update on where we are and where we are headed over the next few years.

You can view the full video below.

NPMap at State of the Map US

Posted on 06 Mar 2014 by Mamata Akella

Jim and I will be presenting at this year's State of the Map US conference, which is being held April 12-13 in Washington, DC. State of the Map US is a conference all about OpenStreetMap and how people around the world are using the free, worldwide dataset.

This year, we'll give an update on two of the Park Service's projects: Park Tiles and Places, both which use OpenStreetMap data and infrastructure. Jim and I are set to co-present in the Government and Humanitarian Relief session on Sunday, April 13th at 4:00PM. Our talk is titled "Park Tiles: Customizing OpenStreetMap Cartography and Infrastructure."

You can access the conference schedule here to get more details on the wide variety of interesting talks from the OpenStreetMap community.

We hope to see you in DC!

Help Beta Test the NPMap Builder

Posted on 12 Nov 2013 by Nate Irwin

Help Beta Test the NPMap Builder

I am happy to announce that a project our team has been pondering, fleshing out, and working on for close to a year is almost ready for release!

The NPMap Builder is a graphical interface that walks Park Service employees through the process of building a map and then deploying it to internal or public-facing web sites. We will post more detailed information about the Builder soon, but for now I'll get to the point of this post.

We are looking for ~50 National Park Service employees, contractors, and partners to help us beta test the first version of the Builder. We've conducted some internal testing, but need more "eyes" to help us discover and squash bugs before releasing the tool to a wider audience.

If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, send an email to with the name of your NPS Active Directory account (the name you use to log on to your computer) and a description of a map you want to create with the Builder. Two important notes:

  1. You must be a National Park Service employee, contractor, or partner to participate in this beta (please make sure you send your request from an email address)
  2. Only apply if you have time, over the next month or so, to test and are willing to submit detailed feedback

Welcome, Jim McAndrew!

Posted on 30 Sep 2013 by Nate Irwin

And just like that our team has grown from three to five in less than two weeks. I'm excited to welcome our newest team member, Jim McAndrew!

Jim will be taking over the reins of Places of Interest, which will eventually integrate OpenStreetMap and crowdsourcing into the National Park Service's internal data workflows. His expertise and work will be a huge benefit to both Park Tiles and our larger enterprise GIS efforts.

Jim brings a tremendous amount of experience working with OpenStreetMap to the team. He has been an active member of the OpenStreetMap community since 2009, a board member of the US Chapter of OpenStreetMap for the last two years, and Vice President of the US Chapter for the last year.

Take a look at Jim's team page for more information about his background and interests. You can also find him online on Twitter, GitHub, or the talk-us-nps OpenStreetMap mailing list. Welcome, Jim!

Welcome, Alicia Tyson!

Posted on 04 Sep 2013 by David Warren

We are excited to welcome our newest team member, Alicia Tyson!

Alicia joins the NPMap team as a data manager. Alicia loves data – particularly geospatial data. Her primary duty will be working hand-in-hand with our partners to massage data and build out databases and services that feed National Park Service apps.

Alicia recently received her Masters of Science degree from the University of Denver, where her research focused on GIS modeling of landslides and risk perception in Machu Piccu, Pueblo, Peru. She also interned in the Park Service's National GIS Office for the past year, gaining valuable experience in the realm of Enterprise GIS.

When asked about what she is looking forward to in regards to this new position, Alicia replied, “I just want to help protect, preserve, conserve and otherwise celebrate this beautiful natural world we find ourselves in. I look forward to learning from and with the NPMap team and exploring and pushing as many frontiers as we can!”

Take a look at Alicia's team page to find out more about her. Welcome, Alicia!