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GIS Resources for Land Trusts

GIS Service Centers

Beginning with Habitat

Provides wildlife related GIS data, maps and technical assistance; downloadable digital maps and accompanying information about important habitat features, as well as additional information and tools to implement habitat conservation in local land use planning efforts; currently developing a GIS co-occurrence model that allows users to weight the habitats and other important values present and helps identify local focus areas based on the habitats present and how a trust or group has valued them

Gulf of Maine Coastal Program

Works with any land trust or town throughout Maine to help prepare maps and habitat information for land protection efforts, including grants; with land trusts in the Casco Bay Watershed, Kennebec Estuary / Merrymeeting Bay and Downeast to:

  • develop and maintain a detailed database and GIS of conservation and public lands
  • provide regional and local maps of those lands, including a database printout
  • provide GIS data (conservation and public lands, BwH data, trails, infrastructure, and base data [roads, town boundaries, hydro, etc.]) that can be used with ArcGIS Explorer (free GIS software) or ArcGIS.

The Center for Community GIS

Provides specialized community-focused mapping services (GIS, GPS, cartography, training, facilitation) to public interest organizations working in the areas of natural resources management, conservation, tourism, economic development, public health, and education.

University of Maine at Machias

Provides free or low-cost mapping services to communities, non-profits, and other clients; training; technical support; and more.

Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve GIS Center

Provides GIS data and support, mapping services, and software training at low or in some cases no cost.

Online Resources

Maine Midcoast Senior College Google Eart Course website

Provides downloadable Google Earth instructional material, kmz example files and handy links to public tutorials from a Spring 2011 course taught by Craig Snapp.

Land Trust GIS website

Information for beginners through experts on best practices, resources and more.

TechSoup website

Article entitled “A Few Good Mapping and GIS Tools” provides an overview of some of the different mapping programs available .


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Offers low-cost GIS and GPS training at various locations in New Hampshire.

Conservation Training

Provides a free beginner-level course called “Introduction to GIS for Conservation” that is an interactive, self-paced course from which the student learns about GIS, digital mapping, attributes, coordinate systems, spatial data and GIS databases. Students will experience the look and feel of ESRI’s ArcGIS software.

*See also Free ArcGIS Training for Maine State Employees in Grants and Funding section.

GIS Data Available for Download

Maine Office of GIS website

GIS and Google Earth data available for download.

Geospatial Data Gateway

USGS Topographic maps, color aerial photography, land cover data and more.

Natural Resource Conservation Service

Maine soils data available for download.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

National wetlands survey data available for download and viewing in the online Wetlands Mapper. For enhanced statewide data contact the Gulf of Maine Coastal Program. National wetlands survey data available for download and viewing in the online Wetlands Mapper. For enhanced statewide data contact the Gulf of Maine Coastal Program. 

Grants and Funding

Norcross Wildlife Foundation

Restricted grants up to $10,000 for program-related office and field equipment/technology.

ESRI Nonprofit Program

For formally tax-exempt orgs for a low annual administrative fee and other grant programs.

TechSoup ArcGIS Grants

Offers low-cost ArcGIS software licenses and training to non-profits.

Free ArcGIS 10 Training For State of Maine Employees

Through the State of Maine’s Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) with ESRI, state employees can take unlimited ESRI Virtual Campus classes for free.

NSDI Cooperative Agreements Program

Announced in October for early January deadline.

Information Sharing

Maine GeoNews – email list for GIS discussion in Maine; sign up here.