NEW DATA: Farmland Conservation, Environmental Indicators, expanded Processing and Distribution, and Low Supermarket Access Areas.


Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award!

Last week, we found out that we won a 2013 SAG Award, an annual award given at the Esri International User Conference (Ersi makes the GIS software we use). This award is given to user sites around the world that have employed GIS to improve our world and set new precedents throughout the GIS community. The Center's Maryland Food System Map Project is one of 175 recipients, chosen from over 100,000 sites. We are thrilled for the recognition and will be attending the conference in July to formally accept the award!

Data Layer Updates:

We have updated the map to include the expansion of our Processing and Distribution data, additional Environmental Indicators data, and new information on conservation practices employed by Maryland Farmers.

  • Processing & Distribution -
    • Food processors and distributors are now broken out by category, so you can view the locations of cannery, dairy, egg, meat, on-farm and seafood processors; and dairy, egg, fruit & vegetable, local, meat and seafood distributors.
    • You can now view animal slaughter facilities by the type of animal, and each location's symbol visually displays the capacity by smaller or larger dots. For example, the smallest dot for beef slaughter facilities indicates that 130-178 head of cattle are slaughtered there per year, and the largest dot shows those locations that can slaughter between 2,601-4,500 head per year.
  • Environmental Indicators - building on the data added previously, there is now information on Incremental and Delivered Sediment. In addition, the Environmental Clean-Up Areas now include clean-ups overseen by the US Environmental Protection Agency (Brownfield Properties, Hazardous Waste - Corrective Action sites, Superfund sites, and Removals). Finally, we have added Determination Areas to the clean-ups overseen by MD Dept. of the Environment. These are sites where the environmental hazard has been addressed and MDE has determined the site cleanup to be complete.
  • Farm Conservation Practices (in the Land Conservation category) - these practices are considered "Best Management Practices" for agriculture. The map displays the acres of land conservation practices by county for cover crops, decision agriculture, and enhanced nutrient management on pasture. The number of practices is displayed by watershed and includes a much larger set of potential practices - alternative crops, forest and grass buffers, poultry litter treatment, stream access control with fencing, and much more.

Additionally, under Food Consumption, we have added a new layer called "Low Supermarket Access Areas" for the whole state. These are areas where residents travel longer distances to reach supermarkets when compared to the average distance traveled by residents of non-low/moderate income areas, according to an analysis conducted by The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), developers of The Policy Map. We acquired these data through a partnership with TRF, which helps us expand the identification of areas that lack access to healthy foods beyond Baltimore, where we have been able to conduct our own analysis through our food desert map.


All of these new data layers are defined in the "Glossary" in the "About the Map" section.

Users can subscribe on the website to receive notices when new layers are added to the map. As always, if you have any questions or feedback for us, please email us at

IMPORTANT: Please remember to clear your cache on your web browser if you are not able to see the new layers of data in the left hand menu. Here is a wiki page that explains how to do this on all browsers. Please email us with any questions.

Launch the Maryland Food System Map Website >


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