I’m a bit of a map enthusiast having worked with some amazing digital cartographers at Penn State for almost a decade. Latitude, longitude, altitude make a big difference in the potentials of your landscape! In fact, I spend a good deal of time each day looking at maps to answer your questions as well as my own.
Having spent so many years searching for the best mapping tools, I thought I should just compile what I have found in a list. Sometime, I may sing the lauds of each one individually, but for now, enjoy exploring on your own.
Be wary, that some of the webpages look ‘retro.’ Many of these were designed by scientists who have their minds on data, or by plant lovers, who are doing web-coding out of sheer nerve and the desire to share information with folks like YOU!
Hardiness Zone Map
- USDA Interactive Hardiness Zone Map. This is awesome. Very detailed from the horse’s mouth, as they say!
- PlantMaps.com – An international resource of hardiness zone and related maps.
- Long Range Climate Maps from NOAA
- Dave’s Garden Frost by ZipCode
- Vegetation Impact Program (VIP) – Frost/Freeze/Drought and much more
Species Range Maps
- BONAP – County level data, including classification from Exotic Pest all the way to Extirpated/Extinct
- USDA – also has plant ecology, classification, cultivation, and cultural heritage of many species.
- USDA NRCS Web Soil Survey – There’s a learning curve with this one, and it takes time because it is crunching an unbelievable amount of data, but it’s worth the wait if you are interested in the soils around you. It is able to generate custom maps for your soil usage.
- FAO Soil – an unbelievable resource of global soil data.