Friday, January 25, 2008


Maps will prove to be one of the most powerful tools for local adaptation. Here in Marin, MarinMap is a membership supported business for integrating GIS data into special purpose maps. As they describe themselves:

MarinMap is a consortium of public agencies (local governments, special districts) organized under the legal authority of the Marin General Services Agency. The Executive Director is Paul Berlant. The Program Director for MarinMap is Wayne Bush. He also serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee.

MarinMap is dedicated to building and sharing a geographic information system (GIS), cooperating to improve each agency's business processes, improving public service and providing a forum for collaborative decision making. MarinMap has built an Internet-accessible GIS, bringing the best available information to the Internet.

Here's WildMap, which can show you where different kinds of wildlife are reported to live in the county. Mostly, everything lives everywhere because we have so much open space and wildlife corridors crossing the county.

So, it's a collaborative service and the County of Marin is using it to provide a range of maps to its agencies. Cool and all, but I can picture using Google maps to provide much more useful information for identifying key locations that adaptive planning would need to identify. Floodplains, slide risk areas, fire danger paths - these are all contained in separate maps and databases now. Citizens could help mark up a very useful Google map and could integrate some of the GIS database if MarinMaps let them.

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