Welcome to the SF Commons

The Need

More and more, environmental managers are embracing an integrated regional and local approach in response to threats to biodiversity and water resources. Understanding our ecosystems and the changes they are undergoing is necessary to identify opportunities to conserve habitat, protect groundwater, promote land stewardship, and protect the natural processes that allow adaptation to change. Core to this approach are: 1) access to scientific information and 2) a community that uses and builds upon it. Environmental documents, maps, and data made useful for technical and non-technical users alike will enhance our ability to face environmental management challenges of the present and future.

While there are many organizations providing data and information online, there is currently no system for finding, using, and communicating about San Francisco Bay Area environmental data in a common interface.

The Solution: A Regional Conservation Commons

A vast amount of knowledge about our region’s resources as well as the talent to use it resides within our community– its people and organizations– and we are the community working to develop our region’s environmental solutions.

It is at the regional scale that ecosystems function and change, that people collaborate, and environmental information is put into practical use to guide resource management practices.

We believe that by bringing our information together, cooperating to develop commonly-needed tools, and supporting active involvement in information exchange, we can better leverage our collective knowledge toward the collaborative solutions we seek. The San Francisco Bay Area Conservation Commons is an effort dedicated to this goal by making our region's environmental information more accessible and useful for conservation purposes, including: preparing for the impact of climate change, regional conservation planning, and local stewardship. The SF Commons core team designs technical solutions and coordinates with other groups promoting standards and practices for open data sharing and networking, such as the USGS National Spatial Data Infrastructure and the International Conservation Commons. Participation is open to everyone.

Benefits of a Regional Conservation Commons

  • Services and shared data produced by this effort will support environmental conservation and education in all organizations, with and without GIS services, at the policy, research, restoration, preservation, and community stewardship levels.
  • Reduced costs per partner for common data services with increasing numbers of contributing partners.
  • A coherent set of solutions and services will be cooperatively developed that would not be possible if each organization were to continue working separately.

We endorse the Principles of the Conservation Commons, offer training in data management and sharing, and collaborate on developing the technology and content of the Conservation Commons. Participation in the SF Commons is open to everyone. The San Francisco Bay Area Conservation Commons coordinates with other groups promoting standards and practices for open data networking, such as the California Resources Agency’s CERES Program and Natural Resource Projects Inventory, the USGS National Spatial Data Infrastructure, the Federal Geographic Data Committee, and the National Biological Information Infrastructure.



Download the SF Commons information sheet.