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University of Washington Botanic Gardens


Washington Park Arboretum
Center for Urban Horticulture

Washington Park Arboretum Interactive Collections Map

Note: the Trail Map may also be used to find gardens and taxonomic collections.

What's in the Map

The interactive map contains the location and associated data of the Living Collection, or curated trees and shrubs, growing in the Arboretum. The data comes from the BG-Base database that stores information about plant names, individual specimens, where the specimen originally came from and data on associated Hyde Herbarium voucher sheets. The location of the plants and many other objects such as trails, benches and ponds were mapped on paper over the last 25 years. In 2013 and 2014 the collection data and paper map data were integrated into a georeferenced database that forms the basis of the interactive map. Please give your feedback, corrections and suggestions to Tracy Mehlin.

Information for Mobile Users

An app is in development.

In the meantime, Android users can install the TreeWalk / Seattle app for plant identification.

iPhone users should use your current map app in Satellite mode to find your approximate location then switch to the web version of the Arboretum map with plant data to see what trees are near-by or to search for a specific plant.

ESRI makes a ArcGIS app available for free that can connect to Arboretum data, however the utility is very limited.

Connection instructions:
Obtain or open the ArcGIS app Google Play or iTunes or Windows phone
(Your last viewed map will be displayed)
Click the maps icon in the upper left of the screen
Your current map location will be displayed
Click GIS Connections
On the My Maps screen, click the + symbol in the upper right of the screen
Enter address: http://uwbgmaps.cfr.washington.edu/arcgis/mobile
You will be prompted for a login – use “guest” and a password of sefs2013
You should then see our server listed on the My Maps screen
Click the server to see our map

The advantage of the ESRI app is that it has a location button so you can find yourself. It also allows you to change the basemap to other ArcGIS Online maps (you can’t remove the photography though). The app also has built-in measuring and bookmark tools. The disadvantage is that the search feature only works on the basemap (which will only find addresses). The pop-ups also only use the basemap, which will just tell you the address of the point. And you can’t zoom in far enough to see the plant points. This last issue is a limitation of using an ArcGIS Online basemap.

Data, Map Layers and REST services

The data for the Washington Park Arboretum Interactive Collections Map is stored in an ArcGIS geodatabase and published to an ArcGIS Server. Researchers and students may access all of our data and layers from the server in a variety of formats. The layers may be used with ESRI ArcMap, Google Earth, or various online map formats hosted by ESRI. This allows researchers to integrate the data into their own work. For example, researchers may add layers from the interactive map into their own ArcMap documents, to perform their own analyses with more advanced tools.

This sharing of data is made possible by the REST Services API provided by ArcGIS Server. It provides a standard interface, which allows data to be consumed by a variety of online or desktop resources. Researchers may browse the primary set of data at: uwbgmaps.cfr.washington.edu/arcgis/rest/services/PublicFeatures/MapServer/. From there advanced researchers may use standard JSON or SOAP interfaces to work with the data, or perform queries on individual layers. There are also links to open all the layers in ArcGIS Online, Google Earth, and ArcMap. For assistance with these resources, you may contact David Campbell.

For access to data in a spreadsheet format, our Living Collections Database web page allows users to enter search terms and see the results of queries in a table. You may also retrieve data for all the plants in the collection using the link to the Entire Database of Taxa by Scientific Name. This will download a CSV file, which should open in Excel on most computers. This data includes plant scientific name, family, common name, UWBG accession number, and grid map location. Threatened plant locations have been suppressed from the public data. Researchers should inquire to Raymond Larson for specific information about those plants.

CreditsIMLS logo

This map was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Professors Sarah Reichard and Soo-Young Kim were co-Primary Investigators on the grant.
The following people contributed to the project: David Campbell, Andrew Fraser, Keith Ferguson, Ryan Garrison, Wendy Gibble, Fred Hoyt, John Kirby, Ray Larson, Jim Lutz, Tracy Mehlin, Katie Murphy, Matt Norton, Kathleen Delos Reyes, Eve Rickenbaker, Kaitlyn Schwendt, Chris Watson, David Zuckerman plus numerous volunteers.

Specimen photographs by Cindy Clark and Tonya Ricks.

Blog Posts about the Mapping Project

IMLS grant funds geo-referenced, integrated database
In the Arboretum with the total station and other milestones
How would you use an interactive map in the Arboretum?
Where in the Arboretum? New interactive map answers that question

Arboretum Bulletin article about the history of mapping at the Arboretum and how the interactive map was created.


Last modified:
August 25 2016 16:42:34