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Tennessee State Parks Office of GIS

TN State Parks Surveyor

Ernest Ferrell, TN State Parks Surveyor, plays an integral role in our GIS data collection.

Contact GIS

Bill Avant, GIS Tech Manager
TN State Parks
401 Church Street
L&C Tower, 7th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243


The mission of the Tennessee State Parks Office of GIS (TNSPGIS) is to build community, provide knowledge, and support individuals using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and science for the conservation of natural resources and cultural heritage in Tennessee’s state parks.

The definition of GIS varies depending on specific applications, but generally it is described as a computer-based system with the ability to store, retrieve, modify, analyze, and represent geographic data as useful information so as to facilitate management, decision making and problem solving.

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is one of the best tools currently available for managing geographic information.  Examples of geographic information include addresses, parcels, public land boundaries, administrative regions, trails, roads, wetland areas, buildings, and utility locations.

A GIS can be useful for relating mapped features and their attributes (non-graphic information associated with features) in several ways.  One way is by using the actual feature from a map.  A trail for example, displayed on a computer screen may be pointed at electronically and used to access and display all of the attributes contained in the computer's database regarding that feature – maintenance issues, tread material, length, ADA accessibility, picture of an overlook, etc.   A second utility is by performing a query inside the database and using another feature set for a basic analysis.   An example of this is querying all the greater than 2 mile linear trails that have graveled tread, can be accessed by bikes, and intersect with a stream feature class.

Many government departments are using GIS because it offers a way of understanding and dealing with complex spatial problems by organizing the data, viewing their spatial associations, performing multiple analyses, and synthesizing results into maps and reports, such operations are difficult to perform manually without the help of GIS.

GIS technology is very useful in communication, allowing the public and many different departments access to the same database. This means that each department does not have to keep separate versions of other department's data in order to use them for their own agency's needs.