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Towson programme to aid conservation efforts

Maryland, USA: The Center for Geographic Information Systems (CGIS), Towson University, Maryland, has gone beyond helping the University “go green” and has developed a programme that will provide valuable environmental information to government officials statewide.

GreenPrint, an Internet-based mapping system, was recently unveiled by Governor Martin O’Malley to assist in conservation efforts. It is designed to help people figure out what the most economically valuable land is, where it is in Maryland and how it is being protected. CGIS has worked on this project for about a year and is the first of many applications within MDiMap, an initiative designed to provide mapping support for the BayStat and StateStat projects.

Finding geographical data and research for state and local government projects can be time consuming and costly. The GreenPrint mapping system is designed to assist these environmental and land development projects by providing easily accessible information. The system is available to the public and can be found on the Internet.

“By having an authoritative source for [the system], where the state agencies replicate their data on a regular basis up to the University, it provides a resource back to everyone else,” Bentivegna said. “They can do their work, save some money, save some time and hopefully get to doing what they’re supposed to do, which is really serving the citizens of Maryland.”

According to Bentivegna, economic and community outreach is a large part of Towson 2010 Plan. “I’d say that [GreenPrint] is right in line with the president’s goal for the University; putting the University’s resources out into the community and helping our community here in Maryland,” Bentivegna said.

The aspect of putting this information on the Web is an initiative from the governor’s office. It began with looking at what kind of software and hardware to have and where that would reside. CGIS is a part of the group that helped determine that.