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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Boise, Idaho » Northwest Watershed Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #261041

Title: Feature mapping on extensive landscapes using GPS-enabled computers

item NDZEIDZE______, STEVEN - Oregon State University
item CARR, CHRIS - Crooked River Watershed Council
item WOERZ, A - Oregon State University
item Clark, Pat
item LOUHAICHI, MOUNIR - International Center For Agricultural Research In The Dry Areas (ICARDA)
item JOHNSON, DOUGLAS - Oregon State University

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/5/2010
Publication Date: 2/9/2011
Citation: Ndzeidze______, S.K., Carr, C.A., Woerz, A.L., Clark, P., Louhaichi, M., Johnson, D.E. 2011. Feature mapping on extensive landscapes using GPS-enabled computers. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Landscapes in the western United States are vast yet managers are called upon to know them intimately so they can respond to natural events such as anthropogenic disturbance, fire, insect outbreaks, and invasive species. These landscapes are not static and naturally change with season and the progression or retrogression ecosystems. To better understand dynamic landscapes, managers rely heavily on USGS quadrangles and aerial/satellite imagery, often heavily annotating paper maps. Because so many maps, images and databases are now available in digital format, we have begun using full-feature GIS software on GPS-enabled laptops. Laptop systems are preloaded with Digital Elevation Models, Digital Raster Graphics, Digital Orthophotographic Quadrangles , NAIP imagery, digital vegetative maps, and other spatial data covering the area of interest. When we go to the field, the GPS finds our location and shows it on the computer screen along with whichever background information we choose; traditional map or aerial images. In addition to the benefit of knowing where we are on the map, we can also digitize feature points, lines or polygons and save them to the database. Collected digital information such as photographs, sound files, and notes can be tagged to specific locations. We have found real-time, mobile, field-based, GIS useful for mapping vegetation and weeds, wildlife survey, stream and spring mapping and for updating older digital databases. This technology is adaptable to fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, trucks and all-terrain vehicles. Mobile GIS mapping directly to the computer is an innovation that we find saves us time and money.