The planning of cross country ski trail systems is increasingly difficult, and must now evolve from an environmentally invasive practice into a more precise and analytical process in order to preserve the low-impact nature of the sport and protect the landscapes that the sport takes advantage of. GIS as an analytical tool possesses tremendous potential for initiating such a process as it can combine precise data on actual sites with pre-determined objectives for those sites into a testable decision making system.
This project entails a practical application of a number of GIS analytical tools for the purpose of determining suitable locations for cross country ski trails/tracks and artificial snow from snowmaking infrastructure by analyzing various types of digital orthoimagery using GIS. The results of the study were used to develop informed ski trail policy implemented by the Bridger Ski Foundation for their efforts to expand access to ski trails for the residents of Bozeman.
In addition to the ski trail design and planning, the design of a central training facility was also requested in conjunction with development of a nearby residential neighborhood by a third party. The project then became a prototype for the generation of architectural design strategies from the rigorous collection, visualization, and analysis of contextual geographic data. In addition to producing a professional quality set of design and marketing material for realizing the building, creation of a synthetic spatial policy between site design, information visualization, and architecture was the goal. This project is ongoing.