Matanuska Basin, Alaska
Matanuska Basin, Alaska. © Cartography by Jim DePasquale


Geospatial Conservation

The Nature Conservancy has defined its geospatial community and the impact it’s had on conservation.

Arlington, VA

  • Zach Ferdaña
    Geospatial Information Officer
    The Nature Conservancy

For the first time The Nature Conservancy has defined its geospatial community and described some of the impacts on conservation. 

Geospatial technology, the combined disciplines of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and more recently artificial intelligence, has informed the Conservancy’s conservation science approaches for decades. With the launch of the Geospatial Conservation at The Nature Conservancy 2019 Annual Report and Map Book, we are at a pivotal and exciting time. At least one in every three Conservancy staff uses maps, whether to monitor preserves, negotiate land and water transactions, or develop global ecosystem services analyses. The Nature Conservancy’s Geospatial Systems Team in IT has established a global GIS Leadership Council, formed working groups in key areas such as cartography and increased our central capacity to support the vast array of geospatial activity across the organization. 

“Following decades of collaboration between Esri and The Nature Conservancy, I am excited to see this inaugural geospatial annual report,” says Jack Dangermond, Founder and President of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri). “TNC is a global leader in applying GIS to inform conservation management plans and actions to address complex environmental challenges powered by the best available data, scientifically grounded spatial analysis and advanced visualization tools. This series of reports will inform readers about the trends and profound conservation impacts which have been realized by leveraging geospatial technology.” 

Geospatial Conservation

2019 Annual Report and Map Book


This report is designed to (a) provide a baseline of the Conservancy’s 2019 geospatial work, (b) present use cases that illustrate ways that technology supports conservation and (c) examine emerging opportunities where TNC can best leverage geospatial technology to protect, conserve and restore ecosystems around the globe. 

As a digital companion to this report, we are also launching a new Geospatial Conservation Atlas. This will serve as the central portal for any geospatial content developed by The Nature Conservancy that includes web maps, apps, a map gallery, local and regional initiative portals, conservation data and other resources. 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.