DES is assisting with development of a comprehensive Conservation and Environmental Lands Management Department Plan for Hillsborough County. The purpose of the 20-year plan is to establish a framework for decision-making regarding capital improvements, programs, management, staffing, and operations of its Conservation Parks, Preserves, and Trails. DES’ contributions to the project include providing inventory, mapping and analytical support services to Exum Associates.
Inventory. DES works with Hillsborough County to obtain park and conservation land polygons, GPS points, trail routes and other relevant layers. It also obtains supporting data from the Florida Natural Areas Inventory and other sources. DES then compares the Hillsborough layers against the state level data to identify possible errors. After this initial assessment, the Hillsborough data is checked against itself to identify duplicate records, attribute omissions, overlapping polygons and missing parks. Errors are then corrected and each park is assigned a final unique ID number.
Mapping. Data visualization is important to many different types of projects and is especially significant for land planning endeavors. DES produces maps depicting park and trail locations across the county for a big picture view of the current and planned park network. It also periodically generates index maps so that specific parks can be identified at a glance. Finally, DES creates analytical maps that are used by project members to ascertain information such as the number of people served by a particular park and the percentage of county park and conservation lands that overlap with areas identified through the Florida Ecological Greenways Network.
Analysis. From time to time, DES performs GIS based analysis to assist project decision makers. This includes simple tasks such as determining the miles of trail within a particular park and identifying parks that are missing GPS amenity points as well as more complex duties such as determining the population served by a particular park and the breakdown of county park/conservation lands that are identified in multiple conservation programs.