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3D Digitizing of Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Routes

Authors: Justin Culman*, University of Colorado - Denver
Topics: Recreational and Sport Geography, UAS / UAV, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Devil's Tower, National Park Service
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The National Park Service and USGS Unmanned Aerial Systems Program (UAS) collaborated on creating a high-resolution 3D model of Devil’s Tower National Monument (DETO) through drone aerial imagery. The continuation of this project with the DETO park staff developed into creating an all-encompassing dataset of climbing routes on the tower. Devil’s Tower is known for its high visitor use for climbing recreation. The tower contains over 240 different climbing routes but has never been spatial represented in a GIS. The aim of the project was to create a database of digitized climbing routes, anchors, rappel routes, and approach trails with associated attributes and metadata. Each feature was digitized using ESRI ArcGIS Pro 3D Scene, referencing the book “Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Handbook” by Richard Guilmette, Chuck Lindsay, Steve Gardiner, and Renee Carrier. For each feature class, attributes and domains were constructed and information compiled, including climbing route grade, difficulty, pitch count, length of each pitch, anchor locations, and how to finish each route. Once a draft of all the routes were completed, additional local knowledge from the parks scientific climbing technician (Phillip Knecht) verified the validity of the digitized materials and provided corrections. After a final QA/QC assessment verified the attribute data and route accuracy, the feature classes were uploaded into ArcGIS Online. The data is presented in an online web application with the intention of allowing the public to navigate around the tower, learn about specific routes details and associated features on an interactive 3D model.

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