The Vegetation Mapping Inventory is an effort by the National Park Service to classify, describe, and map detailed vegetation communities in more than 270 national park units across the United States.
The primary objective of the Vegetation Mapping Inventory is to produce high-quality, standardized maps and associated data sets of vegetation and other land-cover occurring within parks. This information fills and complements a wide variety of resource assessment, park management, and conservation needs. The vegetation maps are produced at a 1:12,000 scale with a minimum mapping unit of 1/2 hectare and a thematic accuracy of 80%.
The Northern Colorado Plateau Network has produced vegetation maps for all 16 parks within the network. Each map represents hundreds to thousands of hours of effort by dozens of contributors: ecologists, field technicians, GIS technicians, data managers, writers, editors, and park staff. The result is a highly integrated product that is not just a map and a report, but an entire library of vegetation data and descriptive information. In addition to the original plot data, users can read detailed descriptions of every plant association, ecological system, and map class in a park, as well as look at photographs of what the vegetation looks like on the ground. Because the map exists in a digital environment, the available information can be organized and displayed in dozens of different ways, new information can be added, and data from other projects can be layered over the map.