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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Map of the World

Look into the different map resources we have:

Welcome to the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Map Resources division of NMNH. Geographic information, in the form of maps and GIS, is important in analyzing the relationships between specimen locations and their environments. Spatially identifying collections are critical in helping us to recreate paleo-environments, as well as historic environments, in mapping the past. We can relate these geo-referenced collections to present-day collections, and predict where specimens can be found in the future, based on environmental and climate change. Concerning basic research at the Smithsonian, GIS, Remote Sensing, and GPS are tools that permit the accurate collection of spatial data, while combining and comparing time-sequential maps and satellite imagery for estimating global change and environmental degradation. The analytical and statistical capabilities within GIS then allow analysis and determination of causative factors.

NMNH hosts the largest GIS user community within the Smithsonian. All departments in the museum have utilized and continue to use GIS during the past two decades dealing with investigations around the globe regarding biodiversity, present and paleo-biological species distributions, archaeological site analyses, and paleo-landscape studies.

In this section, we provide maps and geographic information on our research activities and collections involving biological, geological, and anthropological distributions. Some maps are interactive, while most are static maps of collections or distributions. Ongoing additions to these web pages include displays of collections in Google Earth where, for instance, visitors can retrieve spatial information on specific species, including latitude and longitude, place name location, collector, expedition, and species/genus/family/order/class/phylum/kingdom.

Click on one of the eleven departments or topics listed to the above left for more specific project information.

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