Tim Burkhart has created a digital atlas of the Peace River Break region, the narrowest point of the province’s Rocky Mountain range. The online atlas is said to be designed in its simplest terms while still being able to provide detailed information about the region. Burkhart says in the past, comprehensive maps were held by private or public agencies, which consequently made them difficult to access and sometime required specialized training to understand.
“The idea for the Peace River Break Digital Atlas Project is to create a give-and-take relationship with the public,” Burkhart said. “I would like to see people using it for their own specific conservation goals, whether it’s a local group looking to protect a specific wetland or someone who wants to identify hiking trails.”
Members of the public can also collaborate with other users through the imbedded communication tools, presenting map users with the opportunity to engage with each other, which Burkhart says is the elements that sets his project apart from traditional maps.
“Maps have an intrinsic power to them because they purport to accurately represent the land,” Burkhart said. “What you put forward with your map has the power and potential to change that landscape.”
The online database requires you to create a free account, which can be found here.
At the time of publication, the online map has not been made public, which requires you to email Burkhart in order to gain access. However, Burkhart says this glitch should be mitigated within the next 24 hours.
Burkhart can be reached at [email protected]
Burkhart’s research is funded by Mitacs, in collaboration with Yellowstone to Yukon and Landsong Heritage Consulting, and is part of his research towards a Master of Arts in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies.