2017 Semifinalist
Bureau of Land Management
January 1, 2017

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has initiated the recreation mapping project to ensure that the public can go online from any device and access consistent, informative and interactive maps of BLM’s recreational opportunities. Information for recreational opportunities on public land has been inconsistent, difficult to locate, or does not exist, and none of it was available in a mobile-friendly format. BLM did not have the ability to portray any geospatial information for recreational activities. Due to declining staff and budget, the capacity of agency employees to obtain and validate quality data and information has been limited. Beginning in November 2014, BLM staff and leadership met to develop a strategy in which the agency could utilize the recreational community and partners to help gather and showcase specific recreational opportunities, beginning with mountain biking. The International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), with a broad user base and proven use of technology, was enlisted to help gather website content and crowd-sourced geospatial data for twenty exceptional mountain bike destinations showcasing a range of trail experiences. The BLM, IMBA, local partners, City of Moab and the mountain bike community, engaged people by using social media to capture exciting trail photos and content. Participants in the event shared photos of the Top 20 sites from BLM National’s Flickr album or individual state pages, Tweeted photos and content on state Twitter accounts, and shared posts from the My Public Lands Instagram account and Tumblr. While the BLM was able to align its limited resources for one small effort, it has had to develop new processes, data standards and partnerships to grow this effort beyond 20 mountain bike trails. Since the October 2015 rollout of the mountain bike websites, agency staff have been working to develop processes for gathering and validating crowd-sourced data from numerous partners, and procedures for merging it with corporate data and serving it back to the public, partners and other agencies. A strategy for highlighting additional recreational opportunities by area and by activity is in place and efforts are underway to showcase at least two more specific activities and a state-by-state “bucket list” of exemplary recreational activities and destinations by the fall of 2016.