ArcWatch: GIS News, Views, and Insights

May 2012

GIS Guides Athletes in a Race at the End of the World

By Matthew DeMeritt
Esri Writer

Athletes competing in the Patagonian Expedition Race used maps created with GIS technology to navigate the often dangerous topography of southern Chile in a 10-day, 375-mile contest known as "The Last Wild Race."

During the previous races across the Patagonian wilderness at the southern tip of South America, racers only had a crude, small-scale overview map of the country's topography to guide them as they hiked, biked, and kayaked toward the finish line.

This year, race organizer Nůmadas International Group wanted to give the competitors a more comprehensive view of the course to help the athletes safely traverse Patagonia's glaciers, rivers, and mountainous terrain.

To do that, the group enlisted its staff cartographers, Jason Blair and Katie Panek, to create maps of the route using Esri's ArcGIS. Read the article.

Blair and Panek's maps also helped with the design of a trail in Patagonia's Karukinka Natural Park that will aid in conserving an area overpopulated by beaver. Read the article.

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A kayaker in the Patagonian Expedition Race consults his waterproof map to plan his next course of action. The maps the athletes used were created using Esri ArcGIS.

read the article

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ArcWatch is published monthly by Esri and contains GIS news, practical advice, and updates about the company's software and events. To submit article ideas, e-mail editor Carla Wheeler at

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