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NYC open space website

check out this website.
Coming on Saturday , a website that focuses on community gardens.

Thursday, March 1, 2001	Matthew Arnn (212-264-8000 x. 3134; marnn@fs.fed.us) Public/Private Partnership 
Launches First Citywide Open Space Mapping Website
Provides "Open Information for Open Spaces"
	A partnership of more than 30 agencies, private companies, academic
 institutions, and nonprofit organizations
today launched New York City's first interactive mapping website dedicated to
 open space resources.  The site -
www.oasisnyc.net - is intended to enhance the stewardship of open space for
 the benefit of New York residents by
providing timely and accurate information about the "green infrastructure" of
 the city.
	The partnership of groups was facilitated by the USDA Forest Service in order
 to develop the website, called
the "Open Accessible Space Information System," or OASIS.  "OASIS is based on
 the belief that a common, free, open
space inventory accessible to anyone on the Internet is invaluable to NYC's
 greening and planning communities," said
Michael Rains, Deputy Chief of the USDA Forest Service.  
	The OASIS website enables local residents and others to identify and evaluate
 open space resources in a
way that was never before possible, combining new computer mapping software,
 large data sets, and local information
about trees, green space and other environmental resources.  "By making OASIS
 web specific, available in libraries,
schools, and tech centers," noted project manager Matt Arnn, "the site will
 help facilitate the delivery of open space and
green infrastructure information to New York City's underserved communities
 that need it the most."  The site includes
new aerial photo-images of the entire five boroughs provided by the city's
 Department of Information Technology and
Telecommunication (DOITT) through the City's NYC Basemap, as well as detailed
 land use data for each tax parcel in
New York.  "OASIS includes much more information than the City's Basemap (NYC
 Map) in a way that extends its
functionality," noted Steven Romalewski, Director of NYPIRG's Community
 Mapping Assistance Project (CMAP).
"OASIS makes the Basemap intelligent, not just an impressive graphic."  With
 OASIS, you can:
	create maps of open space by ZIP Code, Community Board, borough, and/or
	view high resolution aerial imagery to locate trees, recreation areas, and
 buildings anywhere in the five
	identify potential open space sites such as vacant lots or properties with
 abandoned buildings;
	identify other natural resources and landmarks such as wetlands and wildlife
 areas, or schools and other
cultural sites;
	calculate statistics based on open space patterns by Community Board or
	zoom in and out and move across the map to see details based on where you
 click; and
	undertake "what if" scenarios, such as, what would my neighborhood look like
 if these vacant lots were
transformed into community gardens.
	Early users of the website - from city officials to local residents - have
 quickly realized the value and potential
of the site.  "OASIS will be enormously helpful in elevating the importance of
 green infrastructure to the livability of NYC
and all urban areas," said Henry J. Stern, New York's Parks and Recreation
	Community groups plan to use OASIS to help identify and protect community
 green space and other open
space sites in their neighborhoods.  "OASIS puts the green city at our
 fingertips," said author Tony Hiss. "What a
wonderful, useful, helpful addition to New York's ability to stay connected to
 our landscapes and waterscapes that
sustain and inspire us."
	The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYCEJA) and the Green Map
 System have brought
together a cross-section of grassroots groups in the city to help plan and
 develop the OASIS project.  "New York's
environmental community wants to make sure that OASIS evolves as a valuable
 education and outreach tool,
accessible and useful to New Yorkers of all backgrounds, ages, and means,"
 said Hugh Hogan of NYCEJA.
	Already the Council on the Environment for New York City has used OASIS to
 improve their maps of gardens
in communities across the five boroughs.  Local residents have used OASIS to
 understand their neighborhoods better.
"The website was very easy to get around and very informative, said Raphael
 Santiago Jr., a student intern at Open
Road. "I liked the fact that the site provided a variety of maps especially
 the aerial photo views, I really enjoyed those."
	Former USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, James R.
 Lyons, planted the OASIS
seed in April of 2000. "New York was a starting point because of its richness
 in diversity and opportunity for creative
partnerships," said Lyons.  "We were hoping that the work here would inspire
 other communities to bridge their open
space information gaps as well."  The USDA Forest Service and Natural
 Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have
dedicated money and staff time to get OASIS off the ground, and the Forest
 Service has led the OASIS Steering Group
through concept design to development.  Environmental Systems Research
 Institute, Inc. (ESRI) has been a key
concept and technical leader, donating staff time and software.  Several city
 and state agencies including the City
Department of Parks Recreation, City Planning and the State Department of
 Environmental Conservation (DEC) have
provided staff time and data in the form of the NYC Basemap and other crucial
 data layers.  NYPIRG's Community
Mapping Assistance Project (CMAP) has been the primary architect and builder
 of the OASIS web site and applications,
collecting data sets and information, cleaning and weaving layers, and
 developing the interactive website itself.
	"Most important to OASIS are the not-for-profit partners that have given
 their time, resources and data to
create a useful site," emphasized Wendy Brawer at GreenMap.  "These groups
 represent the user community and have
stepped up to grow and refine the OASIS vision.  They continue to reinforce
 the OASIS goal of providing an accessible
information system that helps enhance the stewardship of open space so these
 areas are linked, diverse, and
sustainable for the benefit of NYC."
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