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Results Tracking

This section describes how GIS can be used to track and show results of land trusts' work.

For most land trusts, building a portfolio of saved lands is a key measure of success.  GIS can not only help track and display these benchmarks but it can also be used as part of a larger system to help convince public officials, donors, the press and just about anyone else of your effectiveness. 

1.  Project accomplishment maps:  These maps show the basics of what lands have been conserved, but they can also overlay related information such as the cost ratios of land acquisitions, progress in achieving campaign goals, or the biological or other importance of key properties.  Maps created for this purpose can draw on goals set in conservation planning.

2.  Changes over time:  You can also use GIS to show what you’ve done over time.  An animated map used on the Web or in a PowerPoint slide show can completely capture viewers’ attention, as property after property builds up on the image.

3.  Conservation statistics:  GIS can also be used to generate statistics about your conservation efforts. For example, you can quickly “buffer” each of your properties and have a GIS program calculate the acres of different types of farmland within a mile of the parcel, or the number of people of various economic classes within a certain distance. These numbers – and the GIS images that illustrate them – can be important relationship-builders with key stakeholders, as well as educational aids for the press and other public audiences.

4.  Management Information System:  GIS can help in more than just showing the lands you’ve saved. It can be used as part of a management information system that links the places you work to the effort you expend to the results you create. To do this requires developing a parallel database that can manage projects, tasks and people.

© Land Trust GIS 2006