We always try to keep tabs on what our neighbors here at National Geographic are doing, and so we're excited to share what the folks at the Center for Sustainable Destinations are up to next. One of CSD's many projects is to establish geotourism charters with local communities to help identify, develop, and promote the unique and authentic assets that will attract travelers to their region. Working closely with community partners, they then harness the staff and resources of the National Geographic Maps division to create a unique MapGuide, which, as the name helpfully indicates, is a bit of a guidebook and map in one. I used one while in Baja a few months ago, and thought it was both tremendously helpful and a really fun way to explore a place.
Last month, CSD released their latest MapGuide, "The Crown of the Continent," which spans Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana. Working with a local geotourism alliance, they plotted a slew of fascinating finds like the Bellevue Underground Coal Mine tour (wear miner's helmets!), the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center (fossils!), and Garnet Ghost Town (boo!), plus a bevy of campsites, small B&B's, and handicraft shops. The maps have terrific photographs and tons of information, and even better, they're absolutely free! You can take a peek at the maps online, and order your own at the Crown of the Continent website.
Next up for CSD is a MapGuide on Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Right now, local residents and visitors can nominate for inclusion in
the MapGuide landmarks, attractions, activities, events and local
businesses that define the region's unique character and distinctive
appeal. Nominations may be made between April 15 and June 30, 2008, so send in your favorite spots now!
Image: Crown of the Continent MapGuide