Digital Mapping of the Natural Protected Areas of Venezuela

Highlights:
  • Was the first initiative in the country to provide free geospatial information of Venezuela natural protected areas through Internet.
  • 80 natural protected areas (IUCN categories: Ib, II, III, IV and VI) available in digital format.
Project Description

GIS Objectives:

  • Using government documents of protected area creation, generate a digital boundary layer for each Venezuela protected areas (IUCN categories: Ib, II, III, IV and VI).
  • From cartographic map, generate digital layers of hydrography, roads, cities and political boundaries for each of the protected areas and surrounding.
  • Generate a DEM of each protected area.
  • Clip Landsat satellite images for each protected area.
  • Create a web page to browse and download spatial data of these protected areas.
Procedures:
  • Data Acquisition: 119 cartographic maps, scale 1:100.000 were bought, to cover all the protected areas north of the Orinoco river, and 9 cartographic maps, scale 1:500.000 were bought, to cover all the protected areas south of the Orinoco river (only scale available for this region). Landsat satellite images were downloaded from GCLF (Global Land Cover Facility) web page and DEM data was downloaded from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) web page. Legal documents were available at IVIC library.
  • Digitizing: All cartographic maps were georeferenced. For each Protected Area a boundary was digitized based on the limits description (coordinates, natural features, etc.) of the legal documents. Using the digitized boundary as a reference, cartographic data was digitized (hydrography, roads, cities and political boundaries) for all the Protected Areas.
  • DEM: Using the digitized boundary as a reference, a DEM for each Protected Area was clipped from the SRTM Data. All DEM were projected to Geographic Coordinated, datum Provisional South American 1956.
  • Satellite Image: Using the digitized boundary as a reference, a Landsat satellite image was clipped for each Protected Area. All images were projected to Geographic Coordinated, datum Provisional South American 1956.
  • Metadata: For each layer (protected area boundary, hydrography, roads, cities, political boundaries, DEM and satellite image) of each Protected Area a FGDC format metadata file was created.
  • Government documents transcription: All documents (paper documents) used in this project was transcribed to MS Word and then transform to PDF format.
  • Web page creation: a web page was design and implemented to browse and download the spatial data, metadata and legal documents of the protected areas.
Results:

See results in ecoSIG web page: Áreas naturales protegidas de Venezuela (v2.0)

Conclusions:
  • Protected areas in digital format (shapefile or raster):
    • 43 National Parks (IUCN category II) boundaries with cartographic reference information (hydrography, roads, cities, political boundaries), DEM and Landsat image.
    • 21 National Monuments (IUCN category III) boundaries with cartographic reference information (hydrography, roads, cities, political boundaries), DEM and Landsat image.
    • 7 Wildlife Refuge (IUCN category Ib) boundaries with cartographic reference information (hydrographyy, roads, cities, political boundaries), DEM and Landsat image.
    • 7 Wildlife Reserve (IUCN category IV) boundaries with cartographic reference information (hydrography, roads, cities, political boundaries), DEM and Landsat image.
    • 2 Biosphere Reserve (IUCN category VI) boundaries with cartographic reference information (hydrographyy, roads, cities, political boundaries), DEM and Landsat image.
  • Metadata for all the 80 protected areas in FGDC format (in Spanish language)
  • Legal documents (protected area creation) for all the 80 protected areas available in PDF format.
Publication:
  • Rodríguez, J.P., Lazo, R., Solórzano, L.A. y Rojas-Suárez, F.(editors). Cartografía Digital Básica de las Áreas Naturales Protegidas de Venezuela: Parques Nacionales, Monumentos Naturales, Refugios de Fauna, Reservas de Fauna y Reservas de Biosfera. ver 1.0, CD ROM, CIET-IVIC-CI-UNESCO-MARN. 2005.

Project employer:
Employer: ecoSIG – IVIC (Venezuelan Scientific Research Institute)
Responsibility: GIS Consultant
GIS work team (for v1.0): Rodrigo Lazo, Sergio Zambrano, María Oliveira, Efraín Tapiquén and Manuel Armas
Status: v1.0 finish in 2005.
Update: v2.0 is available in Áreas naturales protegidas de Venezuela (v2.0)