August 16, 2016 Professor Helps Develop Web App for Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Note:  This story first appeared on the School of Art’s website.

Screen shot of the species mapper app showing terrain and colored areas

Graphic Design Professor Sarah Lowe and Dr. Jian Huang of UT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have partnered with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Inventory and Monitoring Branch to create a new web application, Species Mapper. This visualization tool will allow everyone from park managers to school groups to explore suitable habitats for species for more than 1,800 species.

Serving as the project co-PI with Dr. Huang, Professor Lowe led the development of the strategy and information structure behind the design of the interface.

Headshot of Sarah Lowe

“This work is exciting as it not only taps into the extensive data that the GSMNP has collected, but in the ways that such data, which can be quite complicated to understand, can be displayed and made meaningful for those who come to visit the park,” says Lowe.

The team will be embarking on the second phase of the project in the Fall of 2017 continuing a long-term partnership with the National Park Service to help students, teachers, and managers alike to make effective use of big data in order to better connect people to the nature and preserve America’s special places.

Use the Species Mapper:

Read more about the project:

Screen shot showing species density on the special mapper