Press Release

June 23, 2010

Mississippi River Trail New Interactive Maps!

In 2009, Mississippi River Trail (MRT), in partnership with the National Park Service Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA), became one of three sites to participate in using Mappler®, a community participatory interactive mapping tool, developed by Dr. Wansoo Im, President of Vertices, LLC.

Through an intern provided and supervised by RTCA, Mississippi River Trail successfully mapped three key urban areas (Twin Cities, St. Louis, and New Orleans) utilizing Mappler®. The success of the test project heralded the first time MRT has been able to provide interactive mapping services in key areas to trail users and friends across the globe.

Following the conclusion of the test project, MRT retained the services of former intern, Jordan Thomas, to continue working with Vertices and Dr. Im to map the entire 3,000-mile corridor. During the planning stages, extensive thought was given to the system as a means to connect parks, refuges and other public lands in recognition of emerging large-landscape Mississippi River “Connections” Collaboration between MRT, NPS, RTCA, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. MRT utilized Mappler® to pinpoint the trail system and to identify national parks, U.S. wildlife refuges, state parks, and private camping areas. This incredible opportunity illustrates the vast number of public lands connected by the trail, and provides current and future trail users with links to each of the sites.

With one click, a potential MRT rider can plan an excursion for anywhere from a few hours to months while enjoying some of America’s most historic and important public lands. While on the trail, users are also able to access the maps by using iPhone and other smart-phone technologies for quick and easy orientation. A printable map of each section of the trail system is also available to be downloaded.

The project was completed within two months due to the extraordinary support MRT received from Vertices. Thank you and congratulations to the National Park Services Rivers and Trails program for recognizing the need and importance of community participatory interactive mapping to provide and share valuable information of our national heritage. By serving as a test site organization under the direction of RTCA, MRT has gained an invaluable tool in its quest to provide clear and concise mapping information on-line.

Please visit www.mississippirivertrail.org and explore the MRT!

To view our new interactive maps, visit www.imtrails.com/mrt.

Terry Eastin
Executive Director
Mississippi River Trail

Developed by VERTICES