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The development and long term quality maintenance of public green spaces requires various kinds of knowledge. Most of the onsite information (development history, current state of the garden, ground plan, plant stock, etc.) has to be in the mind of the specialist in charge; however, with the growing quantity and complexity of the data there is a limit to traditional personal expertise. Developing and managing GIS databases creates new assets for documentation (data analysis, queries, reporting, etc.) as well as further practical applications based on them: supplying data for constructors, decision makers and visitors; supporting decisions with accurate derived information; assuring more conscious planning and maintenance; helping scientific analysis and public information systems.

The Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden (BZBG), opened as the first public zoo (Szidnainé, 1991) of Hungary in 1866 (Figure 1.), has nowadays a well known plant collection. During the 20th century, the plant stock of the garden was recorded and published several times in the form of plant lists (Anghi, 1960) or a manual survey (Péntek, 1983). There was, however, no digital database built to document the entire garden content and conditions until the beginning of the 21st century. In accordance with the objectives of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) to develop appropriate information systems (Cheney, 2000), a GIS based botanical survey and garden mapping are ongoing projects of the institution since 2007. This paper aims at presenting our initiatives to record the plant stock of the garden regarding the goals, the up-to-date methods, the first results and their expected future benefits for garden management.



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