TOPIC: Spreadsheet format for tree data
== 1 of 3 ==
Date: Sun, Feb 24 2008 12:43 pm
From: "Edward Frank"
At some point we will need to archive the various data sets that
people are collecting in the field. It would be great if we could
decide on an expandable format for our tree measurement data that
everyone could implement, and so that our disjointed individual
lists could be merged and worked with as part of a greater set.
At this point in time I see people dropping out of the group who
have measurement data. I would as a priority like to get a copy of
what everybody has at this point before the information is lost.
Getting people to add a GUID would be great, because it would allow
the interlinking of miscellaneous materials, photos, trip reports,
and documents to the trees involved. We need to secure the data
collected already for archival purposes. I am afraid that big chunks
of what Colby collected may be of limited value because of lack of
good location data. I am sure that there would be measurements of
the same tree that will need to be consolidated because of different
ID's given by different measurers. There should be a column for the
tree status healthy, ailing, dead....
This is my idea for a spreadsheet that could encompass the various
types of field data we are collecting. I am not saying that everyone
needs to convert to this or other format from what they are doing
now, nor that they need to fill in every blank. This would represent
the columns on a master list. Individual data collected by different
people could be copied column by column into this format in some
sort of a reasonable order. It would be most helpful if the location
information, and the Latitude and Longitude information could be
broken into individual columns rather than lumped together into
single columns. Additional columns could be added to the spreadsheet
as we develop more topics to be measured. New people with little
data could use this as a base format from the beginning.
I will need to develop a sheet for compiling multitrunk data, but
this does have a place to note whether the tree is multitrunk or
Anyway this is my idea. What does everyone think? What columns
should be added, if any?
GUID (to be determined)
collector's ID notation
Species (common Name)
Species (Scientific Name)
Location - State
Location - County
Location - Site (Park, Forest, City)
Location - Subsite (or address)
Location - comment on surface detail (ravine, hilltop, swamp, etc)
Date of measurement (yyyymmdd)
Number of trunks
Tree health/ status
Method of Height Measurement (pole, tape drop, sin top/sin bottom)
If sin top/sin bottom
Angle 1 (to top)
Distance 1 (to top)
Angle 2 (to base)
Distance 2 (to base)
Girth Height if not 4.5 feet
Average Crown Spread
Photographs (Yes or No)
Total Volume w/limbs
3D Mapping (yes or no)
Measured Age (Ring Count or Cross Dated)
Map or GPS
Base of Crown Height
Live Crown Length
Live Crown Ratio
American Forest Points
== 2 of 3 ==
Date: Sun, Feb 24 2008 2:29 pm
From: doug bidlack
I think this is a great idea! Maybe this list should
be updated each year and 'published' on the ENTS web
site. This will allow everyone to see which species
we are not measuring...a heck of alot! Might be a
good way to give us a kick in the pants for all the
I know that everyone likes to divide regions based on
political boundaries because that is how we tend to do
everything, but shouldn't we at least attempt to look
at tree sizes within more naturally defined
boundaries? I'm sure this has been brought up before,
but I'm not sure what happened with that line of
== 3 of 3 ==
Date: Sun, Feb 24 2008 3:44 pm
From: "Edward Frank"
The list will be massive and impractical to post. But summaries will
be available for people doing research. I would like to see other
materials archived by the collector made part of the overall
First I could see a trip report folder being made that would include
the trip report for the site, copies of photos taken on the trip,
and other material collected related to the site. Like I commonly
research a site on the internet before visiting. I often save these
results, if they are significant -newspaper articles, descriptions,
maps, etc. Website pages can be saved as a single mht file that
includes all the photos and formatting of the site in a single file.
These downloads could be saved as part of the report folder, and as
part of the permanent archive. It could be named by date in the
yyyymmdd format and a site designation. An example might be
"20080223-cfsp" as a folder name. I made a column where
this folder name could be listed.
Some of the tree location information is sensitive or on private
property. We need the info for archival purposes or to use
anonymously as part of a larger data set, but it would not be
material we would want to publish to the website. So some of the
information needs to be kept private, or need to know only. Perhaps
I should add a place for owner information, address, phone, and
wouldn't it be possible to put a minimum amount of
info on the website. Just species, height, girth,
spread and volume champs. Location can be reduced to
county or even state. I guess I thought that part of
the reason for this list might be to share this info
with the public so that people start using these
numbers rather than the AF numbers. If everything is
kept 'in house' we are simply preaching to the choir
and we really have no right to complain when people
use incorrect heights for trees.
i think listing by natural boundaries is a fantastic idea. how
listing species by ecoregions or E. Lucy Braun's or Jim Dyer's
vegetational areas? there are fewer of those areas than states. one
could list them from N --> S w/in each region by listing them by
I was thinking about ecoregions which are partially
based on vegetation, but I figured others would know
of the best natural forest boundaries to use.
I will post the tree maximums,
locations, etc. for all of the species we have. That is one
of the plans for the listing being compiled for Bob's Silvic
Manual update project. We have a list, but it is out of
When you mention ecoregions or E. Lucy Braun's or Jim
Dyer's vegtational areas the every day common folk
(like me) are going to go "huh?" Whereas when you
mention a state's name everyone knows where you are
You are correct.
ENTS can provide maps and explanations to ecoregions that would
accompany their databases and state info can be included in data
description. I like Doug's ideas for natural boundaries VS political
boundaries because it might better reflect some of ENTS goals,
height maximums in different forest types or regions.
Here are links describing Ecoregions and then an atlas to play
I'd start with the atlas cuz, you know, a picture is worth 1000
Now, people can say, "I don't agree with that
classification" and such,
more so than political boundaries [though I know of people who argue
with political boundaries], but the map above is a good starting
It looks very much like the major veg maps produced through the yrs.
hope this helps,
The exact opposite argument could be
made. That for the basic listing purposes, and accessibility
for the general public, the listings should be made on
conventional political or geographic boundaries. While for
scientific purposes, since the county or GPS locations are
provided, they could be used to sort the data into the appropriate
sets for whatever type of comparison is being made, and by
whatever criteria and boundaries you want to define. It
could be argued that the political/state boundaries are more
stable and reflect real life management boundaries, while the
ecoregion definitions are subject to revision and reinterpretation
on a regular basis.
I would favor a sorting by state boundaries
that best match, the irregularly shaped ecoregions.
Sure. It would be good to include all location information so that
could be sorted for a particular goal - public outreach, scientific
Since you mentioned our right to complain, I will go ahead and do
How could supposedly intelligent people get the ecoregions in
the rest of the western Great Lakes so badly wrong?? The
Bailey map and
the one used by the Forest Service absolutely defy what you see when
drive across the region (unless you can't tell one tree species from
another and just classify the vegetation as trees or no trees). The
province descriptions on the Forest Service website are dead wrong
their disturbance regimes.
huh, that is amazing. i had no idea it was off so badly up there.
like Braun's mapping or other vegetational maps? i guess i've been
spoiled by working in areas where, mostly NYS and parts of New
where these type of maps are pretty good. Illick has one from 1915
NYS that is pretty good.
i really like the idea of natural divisions. i had no idea
that MN and
other areas could be so wrong. wow!
Have both fields, GIS can show each field, or both fields...
Sure, the ecosystem classification developed by Minnesota DNR works
At 09:07 PM 2/26/2008, you wrote:
>do you know of another ecoregional classification that
>better fits what you see in Minnesota? If not, do you
>believe that one can be developed?