UC Davis Arboretum Pioneers Interactive Online Maps of Plant Collections

The UC Davis Arboretum recently debuted an interactive mapping application that allows visitors, students, and researchers to explore the more than 30,000 plants in the Aboretum’s plant collections using their web browsers. This first-of-its-kind application for living botanical collections provides users with the ability to identify individual plants by location, search for plants by name, find plant images, print custom maps, and more. According to Brian Morgan, Arboretum GIS Manager, “The application is the culmination of a five-year project to create a geographic information system, or GIS, for the Arboretum that contains information on every plant and landscape feature in our 100 acres of gardens, and gives our audience a way to access this information.” This project is part of a larger body of work led by UC Davis Arboretum staff that is funded by grants from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and the UC Davis Undergraduate Instructional Improvement Program. It is a collaboration of more than 75 zoos and botanical gardens worldwide that are working under the name Alliance for Public Gardens GIS. Major project partners include the San Diego Zoo, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. The application will be distributed to botanical gardens nationwide and internationally in an effort to help improve access to living collections. This important work will help to increase the use and value of botanical collections and their role in plant conservation and education worldwide. To access the online collection maps, visit the Arboretum’s website at arboretum.ucdavis.edu and click on the Plant Maps Online button on the left of the page. For more information contact Brian Morgan at the UC Davis Arboretum.