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  • Success Story
  • Georgia DNR

Digital Innovation Brings Cost Savings and Higher Citizen Engagement


The Georgia Department of Natural Resources operates more than 400 properties, covering more than one million acres. Its mission is to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources for present and future generations, while recognizing the importance of promoting the development of commerce and industry that utilize sound environmental practices.

For the first time, a Georgia citizen could go to one place with all of their outdoor and recreational needs and find locations that offer the services that are individualized to their wants and needs.
John Martin, Georgia DNR Chief Information Officer

Project Metrics

  • 30+ New Sales Calls Per Week
  • $234K Per Year in Additional Revenue
  • 1.5K Added Unique Visits Per Month
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Digital Resources Lacked Usability and Customer Centricity

Georgia Department of Natural Resources (Georgia DNR) sustains, enhances, protects, and conserves Georgia’s natural resources. Operating more than 400 properties and covering more than one million acres, Georgia DNR serves a vast audience and geographic area.

Over a period of 20 years, Georgia DNR spent a total of $20 million on geospatial data, yet none of it was built for citizen consumption. Disparate data sources and formats were distributed across its web properties, making it difficult for citizens to find what they were looking for.

“We had these mountains of data and we didn’t have a way to get the data to citizens in a consumable format,” said John Martin, Georgia DNR chief information officer.

Georgia citizens didn’t have a reliable or convenient way to access consolidated information about DNR services. Georgia DNR held a town hall and citizens said they couldn’t find information on its webpages. Georgia DNR needed to provide outdoor recreational data to citizens in a format that was easy to use and mobile compatible. Like many state agencies, Georgia DNR also had a small budget to work with for the project.


Interactive Map Aggregates DNR Resources to Drive Usage

After reviewing available options, Georgia DNR partnered with Google and Georgia State University to aggregate its data and present it through a user-friendly, interactive map. Using a Google back-end architect, the map provided a single platform to collect and present data in a familiar way – through Google Maps.

“Georgia Outdoor Map” identified DNR-managed lands and outdoor recreation opportunities. The Map included state parks, wildlife management areas, public fishing areas, boat ramps, and historic sites. Users could search by category to find locations to camp, hunt, hike, fish, or explore history. Georgia citizens could find recreational opportunities, directions, handicap accessibility, telephone numbers, and website links for more details. The Map included a “near me” function to help users determine recreational opportunities closest to them.

“For the first time, a Georgia citizen could go to one place with all of their outdoor and recreational needs and find locations that offer the services that are individualized to their wants and needs,” said Martin.

In addition, “Georgia Outdoor Map” was built for mobile compatibility for greater access and usability. The map provided a usable and citizen-centric experience for Georgia outdoor enthusiasts.

While the Georgia Outdoor Map was a hub, it needed spokes for promotion, so accordingly, Georgia DNR partnered with GovDelivery to support an email communication strategy. The duo targeted email addresses connected through Georgia DNR’s existing email list, segmented topics, and delivered customized and relevant communications to its audiences. “We target our audience with things we’re trying to promote in Georgia,” Martin said.


Driving Visits and Revenue

Since launching the Georgia Outdoor Map and promotional communications, Georgia DNR has seen remarkable success in reservations, website engagement, and revenue generation.

With a relatively modest financial investment, Georgia DNR created a platform that reduced informational calls to DNR headquarters and its five divisions. And, providing this information in a customer-centric format increased usage of State facilities, thereby increasing revenue.

From mobile and web compatibility and ease of use to its cost savings, Georgia DNR effectively transformed its services through Georgia Outdoor Maps. Today, Georgia Outdoor Maps serves as an ongoing information platform sharing across state agencies.


Increased Revenue and Engagement

Georgia DNR estimates Georgia Outdoor Maps generates an additional 30 park reservations per week at $150 each, resulting in additional revenue of $4,500 per week and $234,000 per year. To date, Map visits increased by approximately 15,000 visits per month. From the uptick in visits, Georgia DNR receives an additional 300 weekly Park Reservation System click-throughs, which is well above public-sector averages. The Map had a trickle effect on other Georgia DNR webpages as well: visits on some pages increased 40 percent per day as a result of the Map.