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Help! Seeking Special Desert Maps

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#1
Lacey

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I am developing a set of interpretive materials for a botanical garden in Arizona and could use some assistance finding what seems to be a needle-in-a-haystack. What I need is a set of maps that illustrate the regions of deserts from around the world, that are not defined by aridity or country but the distinct flora that grow there.

For example, an ideal map of the Sonoran Desert in North America would illustrate a region based on the distribution of Saguaro cacti, Brittle Bush and Palo Verde Tree (to name a few).

I have searched through local city libraries, local university libraries, and local garden libraries and have not discovered any good leads much less any maps that cover all deserts in the world outside of the popularly known deserts.

Along my journey I have discovered that I am not the only one who is actively seeking these maps. If any of you have resources you think would help, leads to follow, or searching suggestions do let me know. I am sure they are out there, I just don’t know where? A good map is hard to find.

Thank you for your time,

Lacey

#2
Laura Miles

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The United Nations Environment Programme has a lot of data, I have no idea if they might have what you're looking for though:
http://www.grida.no/gis/index.htm
Laura

#3
Melita Kennedy

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You might be able to get or extract some information from animal/bird habitat maps. It looks like you might be looking for botanical (plant) inventory information like the information here:

BLM botanical inventory report for Mojave solar power project

Melita

#4
David Medeiros

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You are looking to illustrate desserts on a global scale, referenced not by precip but plant habitats?

In this instance, I would say that what you are looking for is not a map but spatial data. What you are asking for is very likely never to have previously been assembled globally though the data probably exists. Do you have access to a GIS department at a local university? This would make a great student project. It would be relatively simple in concept, interpolate new regions based on predefined intersections of flora and precip to derive a biological extent to dessert regions around the world. Lots of data and research though and probably a good deal of trial and error to figure out how to deal with outliers etc.

Try a local school, contact the head of the GIS program and see if they might be interested in passing this on as a class project or consider developing an internship around it.

David

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#5
M.Denil

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For example, an ideal map of the Sonoran Desert in North America would illustrate a region based on the distribution of Saguaro cacti, Brittle Bush and Palo Verde Tree (to name a few).


Sounds like what you are looking for are Ecoregions. Ecoregions are defined by species habitat.

Data for Level IV Ecorgions for the US is available at:
http://www.epa.gov/w......htm#Level IV

World data is available from WWF:
http://www.worldwild...a/item1872.html

Mark Denil
National Ice Center

#6
Gretchen Peterson

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It definitely could be ecogregions that you are after. Though, as David suggests, the likelihood of a map with your particular specifications having already been made is small, as you have discovered. The best path would be to ask a GIS person or cartographer for help in assembling one. The idea to ask for student help with putting a map like this together is great but of course remember that there would be some lag time in getting it. Any number of people on this board could help you make a really great looking map or map series as most of us are GIS or cartography professionals and this is exactly the kind of thing we do. Good luck!




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