Washington Hometown is currently working to develop and populate a spatially linked database of recreation, history, science and culture. This database is the core of our effort. It will allow us to create maps to meet any user need and to help people explore, share, and learn about Washington State.
We currently haveinformation on over 9,000 recreation resources and 2,700 points of interest throughout the state. We are continuing to add data from public and private sources as we move towards our goal of having information about all public recreation and culture resources plus information about science, history and cultural points of interest.
There are two types of data sources - Bulk input of GIS (spatial) data from managing agencies (everything from the National Forests and WA State Parks to the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation) and the creation of individual records.
When we do a bulk import, the information we get from the spatial data is just a starting point. It gives us a location, a name and a type. Not all of the information is accurate or current and there is only limited information about each place. Once we have a dataset, we validate (does the place still exist and does the location appear to be accurate); categorize (assign types and subtypes from our system that address how the place is used); add information (initially, just basic information such as web address and key facilitie. and over time, we will fill out a complete record for each place); add a link to a photo for the thumbnail; and, finally, we incorporate the place into our database and maps.
Much of the information we want is not available in large datasets. We can add individual places (points, lines or areas) to our database. We have a number of places that were added individually for projects such as the Kittitas County Barn Quilt Tour, the Connections Coalition map of Yakima, the Kittitas County Chamber Recreation maps, Mountains to Sound Greenway's web map, and the Roadside Geology series. Once we have the database operational, we will be reaching out to groups to help us add more places - both recreation resources and points of interest.