In July 2012 the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded a Museums for America grant to UW Botanic Gardens to integrate an all-inclusive database, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. The multi-part project will ultimately allow for one point of access to herbarium, horticultural and curitorial records linked to an Arc-GIS generated map, searchable from any web-connected devise. The database will be used to advance environmental research, improve Arboretum management and expand interpretation of the woody plant collections.
The first major task starting as soon as survey equipment arrives will be to measure and verify the geospatial coordinates of the physical monuments of the historic grid system used in the Washington Park Arboretum. These coordinates will be used to create a map that supports the geo-referenced database.