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Two Young Explorers Create First Map of the Future Patagonia National Park

Young Explorer Marty Schnure mapping the new Avilés Valley Trail in the future Patagonia National Park. Marty has Goal Zero solar panels strapped to her pack to keep the team's GPS and cameras charged on long trips in the field. Photo by Ross Donihue.

Young Explorer Marty Schnure mapping the new Avilés Valley Trail in the future Patagonia National Park. Marty has Goal Zero solar panels strapped to her pack to keep the team’s GPS and cameras charged on long trips in the field. Photo by Ross Donihue.

Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue are National Geographic Young Explorers recently back from the field. They’re currently producing maps of the future Patagonia National Park from their office in San Francisco. To learn more about their project, visit Maps for Good.

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The past nine months have been a journey of energy, frustration, sweat, cold, wind, laughs, scree, sore feet, an icy tent, warm sleeping bags, a lot of lamb stew, hard work, failure, perseverance, and success. We’ve become intimately familiar with a huge, exciting, and breathtakingly beautiful place, the future Patagonia National Park in the Aysén Region of Chile.

We’ve created and delivered an extensive, detailed, and (if I may) well-organized geospatial database that park administrators are excited to use in their conservation planning efforts into the future. We’ve designed and produced the first map and guide to the park, which we can’t wait to get into your hands. We’re currently developing the interactive map that will allow people around the world to explore the park and connect with the place.

We’re thrilled to announce that the first map and guide to the future Patagonia National Park is now available to pre-order. It’s bilingual, waterproof, and beautiful. It feels smooth in the pocket and looks great on the wall. You can pre-order yours today at mapsforgood.org.

The one constant throughout this project has been the unwavering support of our friends, family, colleagues, sponsors, backers, and blog readers. To every one of you, we sincerely thank you.

Camped out at an icy alpine lake while mapping the northwest edge of the future Patagonia National Park. Photo by Ross Donihue.

Camped out at an icy alpine lake while mapping the northwest edge of the future Patagonia National Park. Photo by Ross Donihue.

We expect to go to press any day now. Recently we’ve been experiencing an unexpected delay due to a Chilean law we weren’t aware of. Six weeks ago, we were two days away from going to press (we had already bought the celebratory ice cream) when we learned that all maps to be distributed in Chile must first be approved by the Chilean government.

Because Chile has ongoing border disputes with its neighbors and place-name disagreements within the country, the government wants to make sure that maps in Chile show their version of things. It’s a gnarly layer of bureaucracy, but one we must comply with. We submitted our map for review eight weeks ago and have done a few back-and-forths with edits. We now expect to receive authorization from them any day. As soon as we receive their approval, we will go to press!

A late-night map editing session in July. Who needs good lighting when you have headlamps? Photo by Ross Donihue.

A late-night map editing session in July. Who needs good lighting when you have headlamps? Photo by Ross Donihue.

Navigate the breathtaking Avilés Valley Trail with our new map! Photo by Marty Schnure.

Navigate the breathtaking Avilés Valley Trail with our new map! Photo by Marty Schnure.

In the meantime, we’d like to give you a little teaser of some of the content you can expect to see in the interactive map of the park. Here’s an immersive panorama from Cerro Torres, a hill overlooking the Chacabuco Valley and Lago Gutiérrez, a deep and crystal-clear lake. Here’s the confluence of the Baker and Chacabuco rivers, a special place we wrote about in our recent post on the National Geographic Explorers Journal. We’ve made a total of 33 of these immersive panoramas from all around the park.

Immersive panorama: Cerro Torres

We’d also like to immerse you in the soundscape of the future Patagonia National Park. Here’s an example of one of the sounds embedded in the interactive map:

Patagonia's 2013 Environmental Initiatives Booklet

Patagonia’s 2013 Environmental Initiatives Booklet

One last bit of exciting news: We’re thrilled to be featured alongside dozens of inspiring better-world efforts in Patagonia’s 2013 Environmental Initiatives Booklet. Check out page 24!

Thank you for all your support! We couldn’t have done this without you.

With gratitude,

Marty & Ross

The Maps for Good team

 

 

 

 

Read the entire blog series

The Maps for Good team at work in the future Patagonia National Park. Photo by Rick Ridgeway.

The Maps for Good team at work in the future Patagonia National Park. Photo by Rick Ridgeway.

Comments

  1. Robert Rofen
    23059 Avis Lane, Hayward, CA 94541 USA
    November 8, 2013, 2:43 pm

    I would appreciate being on the e-mail list for the Explorers Journal. I am a member of the National Geographic Society and receive the National Geographic magazine.

  2. Elise Schnure
    Pittsburgh, PA
    November 6, 2013, 3:14 pm

    Great job!!