NPS Geospatial Needs Assessment


Many federal agencies face challenges with designing geospatial data management systems. We developed a needs-assessment process that can be employed to:

  • prioritize agencies’ geospatial information needs;
  • identify agencies’ capacity to manage a centralized geodatabase;
  • determine agencies’ capacity to deliver Web-mapping services to the public; and
  • identify barriers, such as data security and limited financial resources, that constrain agencies’ ability to design and manage a geospatial data management system.

We tested the needs-assessment process with the National Park Service (NPS) Conservation and Outdoor Recreation (COR) Branch programs. The NPS COR Branch is comprised of nine disparate programs, such as the National Trails System and the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program, each of which has specific geospatial data management and delivery needs. The needs-assessment process provides a comprehensive and logical workflow for system developers and administrators to use as they create or refine geospatial data management systems.

Our work was published in the Journal of Map and Geography Libraries as well as the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.