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Statewide Recreation Mapping

Statewide Recreation Mapping
Statewide Recreation Mapping

Location:  Statewide, North Dakota
Client:  North Dakota Parks and Recreation


The North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation was looking to establish a geographic information system (GIS) database for its park system. Previously, the information for individual state parks was either existing on separate websites or not available to the public. The Department needs a system to act as a bridge between the state park system and other state recreation assets. This system will provide a more robust and targeted approach for inventorying, planning, and tourism. 

The Project

The goal of this project was to develop a solution to quickly and efficiently gather assets of the state parks in North Dakota. HEI accomplished this with a specific milestone approach with frequent update meetings and using several technologies.

This project was divided into four major milestones made up of smaller tasks.

Milestone 1

Milestone 1 focused on establishing the project’s definition. This first task started with a review of the existing materials. Followed by an in-person kick-off meeting with Department staff to discuss the technical approach. This gave HEI a clear understanding of what features were most important to collect. With clearly defined objectives, the next step was to test the data-collection methods for one of the state parks.

Milestone 2

With the data collection process refined, work began with collecting data, which marked the start of Milestone 2. HEI‘s staff used the ArcGIS Collector App to collect the asset data. Staff used the Collector App on an iPad with Trimble survey tools to achieve greater accuracy. An ArcGIS Online viewer was shared with the Department to give them real-time access to the data as it was collected and to track progress.

Milestone 3

While the focus of this project was data collection, the overall vision is to ultimately build a web presence for both internal and external use of park data. HEI is in the process of setting up a simple online viewer the Department could use to share and evaluate the business needs for its strategic plan and capital improvement plan.

Milestone 4

Milestone 4 will be exploring ways to marry existing federal, state, public, and local resources in one comprehensive viewer. The viewer will act as a gateway for users to discover and interact with statewide park data in a single place. 

Watch this video to learn more.

Client Benefits

  • Early coordination established clearly defined features that were most important to capture.
  • Close collaboration to ensure the data is capable of being accessed and used easily.