Geoheritage 14 (2), 41 (2022).
Autores/as: Ballesteros, D., Caldevilla, P., Vila, R. et al.
The management of a UNESCO Global Geopark (UGGp) requires a vast wealth of miscellaneous scientific knowledge that can be successfully organised using a Geographical Information System (GIS). This paper presents a pragmatic GIS database to assist in the suitable governance of the Courel Mountains UGGp (2017) in Northwest Spain. The database is structured in 66 coverages compiled from public sources and previous works or produced through traditional mapping (combining fieldwork and photointerpretation) and GIS tools. The acquired data was later homogenised and validated by a multidisciplinary team and archived in independent coverages. Forty thematic maps illustrate the broad range of cartographic information included in the GIS database. Among them, 25 basic maps provide an overview of the UGGp and 15 new maps focus on crosscutting and technical issues. All maps illustrate the huge potential of GIS to create new resources combining coverages and adapting the legend according to their purpose and audience. The database facilitates the suitable publishing of consistent outputs (e.g., brochures, books, panels, webpages, web serves), as well as the elaboration of technical data to assist the park management. The database furnishes information on the design of education actions, touristic routes, activities and Geopark facilities. The GIS database is also a supportive tool for scientific research and provides the necessary knowledge to conduct geoconservation actions based on land use, geological hazards and the occurrence of natural and cultural heritages. Altogether, the GIS database constitutes a powerful instrument for policy-making, facilitating the identification and evaluation of alternative strategy plans.