GIS Mapping/Analysis   Gary Beluzo
  Mar 12, 2004 11:47 PST 

I am curious as to how many of you are doing (or interested in doing)
some GIS mapping/analysis of your tree/forest data? Perhaps we could
have a discussion if there is the interest.


Gary A. Beluzo
Professor of Environmental Science
Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Avenue
Holyoke, MA 01040
RE: Cook Forest update   Robert Leverett
  Mar 12, 2004 12:00 PST 


   Gary's offer may be the opportunity some have been looking for. Gary
established the GIS department at HCC and is the driving force behind
insuring its viability. He works daily with GIS so this could be an
important opportunity for discussing conceptual analytical frameworks
using GIS.

RE: Cook Forest update   Edward Frank
  Mar 14, 2004 19:51 PST 


That is an excellent offer. Doing GIS mapping/analysis of the various tree
forest data is the way the info should be organized. If I actually had any
data I would send it to you in a minute. I strongly encourage people in
this group to pursue this suggestion and discussion.

For people curious about GIS but not exactly sure what it is I found
several links that give some basic description of what it is:

If people pursue this offer a short succinct description of "What Is GIS?"
should be included on the ENTS website so that I do not need to link a
commercial external source.

Ed Frank
RE: Cook Forest update   Gary A. Beluzo
  Mar 15, 2004 05:03 PST 

Thanks Ed....I began the GISlab at the College with an NSF Grant a few
years ago...we have 20 Dell desktop computers, full size digitizer,
large format HP Deskjet (USGS size maps), and for software we have a
license with UMASS that includes ARCGIS 8.3, ArcView 3.3, Geomedia,

I've got a Pentium 4 Laptop with 1 GB RAM so I can do most of the GIS
Mapping right on my laptop at home or in the field. A Toshiba Pocket PC
and a a Garmin Etrex Vista allows me to map realtime in the field if I
need to.

Bob Leverett and the rest of our research group are going to begin
georeferencing all of the trees in the database we have (over 1600!)
then we can begin using the ARCGIS program to map and analyze in both 2D
and 3D. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a map is worth a
thousand pictures and the way to educate the public about the
significance of our finds.

BTW, I was working with the GIS CDs from the Smokies in 1998 but I am
hoping that the ones Will is referring to are updates with even more data


IS mapping   Ed Frank
  Mar 17, 2004 19:17 PST 


I have been thinking about GIS usage for ENTS Data. For the uninitiated
GIS stands for Geographical Information Systems and consists of a
graphical database in the form of maps. Each type of information you
want to analyze is coded on a separate layer. Then these layers can be
combined in different ways to emphasize the features of interest. For
example, one layer could be the topography for a site, a second layer
the underlying geology. Another the soil map for the area, a rainfall
map for the area, a vegetation map, political map. Any type of data can
be encoded into the system. Some data is best represented by points,
other data can be encoded and used to generate contour maps representing
gradations between data points. Individual points can be linked to
external text files that may include descriptive or bibliographic
information. GIS is the next step above standard data bases for
managing natural resource information.

I am wondering on what scale you want to manage the tree data sets that
ENTS is generating? Do you want to concentrate on a few areas, provide
a broad based coverage, or a combination of both? What kind of
information to you have in your base GIS data sets? Certainly
topography, but what about, geology, soils, rainfall, climate? It would
be useful for people who might be contributing to the project to know
from what information you are starting.

What types of information do you plan to encode into the GIS Database?
Tree height, girth, species information? Rucker indexes for various
areas? Tree age data? What information do you already have would you
include in the GIS maps?

What types of information do you think would be useful for people to
collect for thie GIS project? Start with what you think is critical
information (GPS locations) and other information that would be nice to
have to round out the data sets?

I know you have thought about this for awhile, how do you envision the
GIS materials to be organized? What “layers” do you think would be
practical? What kind of information would not be represented well by
the system? Could you just provide an overview of what you are thinking
with regard to this proposal?

Ed Frank
RE: Trip Reports/Rucker Indexes/Future   Gary A. Beluzo
  Mar 04, 2005 09:55 PST 


I am working with Bob Leverett to develop a GIS database for all of the tree
measurements and Old Growth Forest stands in Massachusetts. I am wondering
how many other ENTS members may be doing the same, even in a limited way.

For example, how many of the tree measurements that are currently being made
include geographic coordinates so that an ENTS geodatabase could be
developed in the future? I have developed several working views of the
Eastern United States, Southern Appalachians, Pennsylvania, Adirondaks,
Catskills, etc which are all linked together in ARCGIS 9. Imagine plotting
samples of white pine measurements from the entire Eastern U.S. and making
geospatial queries at the click of a mouse.

At the ENTS Rendezvous at Cook Forest in April I plan to give an overview of
GIS (for the beginner and intermediate user) and provide some sense of what
GIS could do for ENTS. I'd like to start the demo with the broad view of the
entire Eastern U.S. so if any of you have some tree measurements (we could
start simply with name of the measurer, species, cbh, height, and geographic
coordinates)that you would be willing to share for my demo at Cook it would
be greatly appreciated. A tabbed text file, Excel or Dbase spreadsheet, or
Access would be fine. I'd like some actual numbers representing other
states in the eastern U.S. Also, if any of you are interesting in getting
your data or yourself into GIS please let me know.

Eventually I want to work with Ed Frank to get some of this up on the ENTS
website. "So many trees and so little time.."

GIS Presentations   Gary Beluzo
  Mar 08, 2005 18:42 PST 

Hi Ed,

I will be using ARCGIS 9 and so whatever data I am going to include in my
presentation I will need to have at least two weeks before (I'll be in the
Smokies the week before). Folks can send me their data as an attachment to
an email message (<10 Megabytes, I have cable internet) but I suspect most
folks just have a few trees with good geographic coordinates.The data
should be in this format either in a text file (comma or tab delimited) or
dBase file or Excel file:

Name of Measurer

would be wonderful...if the coordinates are in UTM (include the zone) then
even better...some may be in State Plane Coordinates.

There is much to do if I want to try and pull off a GIS presentation with
data from around teh Eastern U.S. so people need to get it to me ASAP.
There is so much potential with this Ed...I am excited about showing others
how to get started.

Oh..where as ArcExplorer is a baby GIS VIEWER you can not create data
layers in people could view my stuff with it but not be able to
create their own GIS database with it. Such is the case with ESRI!

Whatever you need for explanation or information let me know, I love
questions and I love to share methods and techniques.