GIS & Mapping
WeConservePA researches, analyzes, and publishes geographic information in support of conservation.
We also provide a forum for creators and users of conservation-related spatial data and analysis.
Conserved Land Database
Conserved Lands Summary Metrics
This map provides the user with the number of and acreages of conserved land within the viewing window. It includes multiple filter levels to allow the map customization to depict user-specified land ownership and easement holders along with by county, watershed, and landscape.Launch web map Tutorial
Land Conservation Data Contribution
Have new data to contribute? Spotted something inaccurate?
Whether you have data to add or feedback to share, you can reach out to GIS Analyst Irina Beal at [email protected].
Please submit missing or new acquisitions or easements as a zipped shapefile or geodatabase through email, Dropbox, Google Drive, or WeTransfer.
Below are guidelines for attributes to include in your submitted data:
Fee Lands Fields
|Property Name:||| Full, public-facing name|
|Access Level:||| No Public Access / Restricted Access / Open Access.|
|Owner Name:||| Fee ownership|
|Manager Name:||| If different from owner|
|Establishment Year:||| Year the park or management unit was established|
|Acquisition Year:||| Year the parcel was purchased (entered in PACL as Year Protected)|
|Property Website:||| Website providing information about property|
|Easement Name (public):||| Public-facing name, often generic or anonymized|
|Easement Holder Name:||| Name of agency that holds the easement|
|Access Level:||| No Public Access / Restricted Access / Open Access|
|Easement Type:||| Open space, forest, farm, historical, etc|
|Acquisition Date:||| Year the easement was acquired|
|Conservation News:||| News article celebrating this conservation achievement (optional)|
|| Length or end date of easement – usually this is “in perpetuity”
| No restrictions (NR) or Withhold from Public (W)
If a survey was completed for the project and the easements has exclusion areas, please include this document.
30×30 Toolkit Courtesy of GreenInfo Network
GAP Code 4 is currently a mix of lands that are not protected for biodiversity AND areas we do not have data for yet. Data submitted by a group that owns/manages land will replace current data within Pennsylvania’s Conserved Land database.
If your land should not be ranked GAP 4, please contact the GIS Analyst with properties assigned to the correct GAP codes.
USGS GAP Status Code Assignment Document (2021, pdf)
GAP codes represent one of the few broadly accepted and applied measures of biodiversity protection. The codes, which include four classifications, were developed as part of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Gap Analysis Project (GAP). The GAP code system is used in the Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US), published by USGS GAP, and as such it represents a de facto standard and has broad coverage on federal and state lands.
GAP codes were not developed with the direct intention of being a hierarchy, but the numeric scale provides a meaningful way to resolve areas with multiple GAP codes assigned – selecting only the most protected.
It is important to recognize that GAP Codes are a measure of biodiversity protection — how the natural habitats on a piece of land are managed (are biodiversity and natural processes the priority?) and how durable those protections are (will they stay in place in the future?). GAP Codes are not a measure of actual species diversity or richness, nor are they a measure of a land’s ecological importance.
The USGS defines “natural land cover” as areas not maintained in a human-induced, unnatural state. In such unnatural states, the plant communities are either missing or cultivated exotic-dominated. Natural land covers allow for the succession of plant communities, without arresting that natural progression. While it is key that a natural land cover is not being intentionally altered by human activities, it is allowed for past alterations to be evident.
Delaware River Watershed Conserved Lands
An expansion of PA’s Conserved Land into the Delaware River Watershed, this map depicts lands protected by government and non-government entities through ownership and easements in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Funding for this project provided by the William Penn Foundation. Select the Dashboard button for an interactive experience.
If you wish to make improvements to the map, use the DRB Editor App or email the GIS Analyst.Launch web map Dashboard
Group Service Areas
WeConservePA has mapped the service areas of land trusts, watershed associations, environmental advisory councils, and other organizations. We provide basic, intermediate, and advanced pathways for exploring these organizations.
For list view of land trusts, member organizations, watershed associations, trail groups, and environmental advisory councils please visit our Find a Group page.
Updates to Organization Profiles
For updates to your organization’s profile page or to add conserved properties, please contact Irina Beal, GIS Analyst at [email protected].
To conduct advanced analysis regarding the service areas listed above, go to WeConservePA’s Advanced Query app.
State Conservation Investment
Mapping & Analysis
Streamside Tree Planting Opportunities and Prioritization for PA
Where is a good place to plant streamside forests to improve water quality? The answer could be “just about anywhere.” But some streamside forests benefit water quality more than others. This project combines high-resolution land cover data with soils, topography, land use, and climate data to evaluate more than 200,000 potential streamside forest planting opportunities across Pennsylvania. View the 2019 report here.Launch web app Dashboard
Cell Coverage at Outdoor Recreation Sites in Pennsylvania
Planning a visit to a public park, forest, trail, or nature preserve in Pennsylvania? Curious if you’ll have cell coverage there? The maps show locations of public lands and trails in Pennsylvania, then overlay those places with cell coverage data. Mobile-friendly.View
In partnership with DCNR
Outdoor Recreation Access in Pennsylvania
DCNR partnered with WeConservePA and The Trust for Public Land to determine who has access to outdoor recreation within 10 minutes of their home and, more importantly, who does not? The resulting interactive maps help identify gaps in access and opportunities to more equitably provide recreational access to Pennsylvanians.Learn more
Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access
DEP GIS Mapping Tools
PA DCNR Open Data
PA DCNR Open Data: This site provides access to all of DCNR’s published GIS data, which includes over 130 datasets relative to state parks, state forests, geology, recreational opportunities and more.
PennDOT Spatial Data Portal
Penn State University Libraries: Maps and Geospatial: Overhead Maps
Statewide Resources: Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access (PASDA) Imagery Navigator | Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access (PASDA) Imagery Navigator Video Tutorial | Penn Pilot | Pennsylvania Geological Survey Library | Pennsylvania State Archives | Penn Pilot Centroid Atlas | Vintage Aerial Photos
Western Pennsylvania Resources: Historic Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan
Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program
U.S. and Regional Resources
USGS Landsat Data Access Portals
Chesapeake Bay Program
Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium
National Park Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
The Trust for Public Land (TPL)
Google Earth Pro
ESRI GIS resources