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Manual FOR Anthropogenic Ecotope Mapping (AEM)

Web Version 1.0 (alpha)    February 2006
By: Erle C. Ellis


This document is a printable manual for use in Level 1 Anthropogenic Ecotope Mapping & Classification (AEM; Ellis et. al. 2006) using ArcGIS software (version 9.0 or greater) and the supporting materials described below.  It is not intended as a stand alone document: use of this manual assumes that standardized training in the AEM system has been provided by a qualified instructor.


Proper citation of this document:
Ellis, Erle C. 2006.  Concepts for Anthropogenic Ecotope Mapping (AEM) (Version 1.0). February 2006.  The Ecotope Mapping Working Group. <Date of Access> <http:/>.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Mapping Overview
  3. Mapping Levels
    1. Current Mapping
    2. Historical Mapping
  4. Mapping Strategy
  5. References

  1. ArcMap & ArcCatalog 9.0 (or better) on a Windows computer.
  2. ArcGIS Templates: file locations in Data_Structure
    1. Geodatabase and feature class templates
    2. ArcMap editing document
  3. Sample cell (area frame) shapefiles for area of interest (AOI).
  4. Orthorectified imagery for AOI meeting minimum data quality standards.
  5. Assistance of local land managers.

II. Documentation (incomplete)

  1. Ecotope Mapping Concepts.  A printable web-based document introducing the basic concepts behind AEM.
  2. ecotope_classes.xls: database of all classes for ecotope classification.
  3. GROUP_key.pdf: details of GROUP+TYPE classification
  4. key_to_complex_features.pdf: methods for classifying and mapping small and complex features.

III. Procedure 

  1. Current Mapping
    1. Prepare ecotope geodatabase and map templates for sample cell.
      1. In the site data folder for your site (\site_name\), create a new folder for the sample cell named r##_c##, with ##'s representing the site RC code for the individual sample cell.
      2. Copy the geodatabase ecotope_template.mdb to the folder (use ArcCatalog). (see Data_Structure).
        Rename it: site_name_r##_c##_l1_ecotope_map.mdb.

      3. Copy ecotope_edit.mxd to the directory and rename it: site_name_r##_c##_l1_ecotope_map.mxd

    2. Define the sample cell extent and location.
      1. Create and define the projection of feature datasets.
        1. Create new feature dataset: AOI".
        2. Set the extent and projection (this is very important!):
          1. Right click the AOI feature dataset and click Properties>Edit>Import>
          2. Browse to the 50 m buffered sample cell extent shapefile for your sample cell (AOI) and click Add and OK.
        3. Copy, paste, and rename the AOI feature dataset to create ecotope feature datasets with the same projection and extent.
      2. Import the sample cell extent (AOI) and 50 m AOI buffer shapefiles into the AOI feature dataset of the geodatabase.
      3. Import ecotope_time_1 feature class from ecotope_files.mdb into the ecotope feature dataset.   
        1. Rename this first version of your ecotope map using the year of current mapping (depending on the application this will either be the year of image acquisition and/or the year of groundtruthing). This will be referred to subsequently in this manual as ecotope_time_1_v1.  Example for 2005: ecotope_2005_v1.
        2. Right click on ecotope_time_1_v1>Properties>Fields>SITE_R_C> and change the Default value to the SITE_R_C code for the sample cell (r##_c##).
      4. Set topology for ecotope map editing
        1. RRight click on the ecotope feature dataset and select New>Topology.
        2. Name the topology ecotope_topology.
        3. Set the cluster tolerance to 0.1 m.
        4. Select the ecotope_time_1_v1 feature class to participate in the topology.
        5. Click next twice to enter default values.
        6. Click on Add Rule to add topologies:
          1. Must not overlap
          2. Must not have gaps
      5. Click next and subsequent options to build and validate the topology.
    3. Set up the ArcMap Document for editing
      1. Open site_name_r##_c##_l1_ecotope_map.mxd
      2. Add the sample cell extent (AOI) and 50 m AOI buffer feature classes.
      3. Add the  ecotope_time_1_v1 feature class
      4. Start Editing
      5. >Set Selectable Layers: uncheck the AOI feature classes so that these cannot be edited.
      6. Symbolize AOIs: hollow: AOI in red, AOI buffer in purple.
      7. Set the snapping:
        1. Edge and Vertex  of ecotope_time_1_v1
        2. NOTE: it may be necessary to change edge and vertex snapping while drawing features to get optimal topology.
      8. Set the Target layer for editing: ecotope_time_1_v1
    4. Add imagery for the sample cell.

    5. Interpret and edit ecotope features

      1. Draw each feature based on the correct minimum mapping scales and in the correct sequence.

        1. If you are unsure of this, consult with an expert ecotope mapper.  More information is also available in the training section.

      2. Attribute the mapped features (you may do this as you draw the features, or later).

        1. Open the attribute editor box.

        2. Select the correct classification attributes for every level of the ecotope feature

          1. Note that the attribute will appear using its text name, but will be added to the database of the feature using its code, not its text name.

          2. FORM>USE>COVER>GROUP+TYPE: See the Classification section for details.

          3. Ecotope codes can be viewed and experimented using the Check Ecotopes section.

          4. (UPDATE) The full set of codes is also available in ecotope_classes.xls, with more description of GROUP+TYPE classes in the GROUP_key.pdf.

    6. Symbolize the ecotope maps.

      1. Calculate the UC and ecotope fields.

        1. Right click on the layer in the table of contents and select the option.

      2.  Symbolize features using USE+COVER Symbology for the UC field. 

        1. Use the Match Symbols method and

      3. ADD Labels: ecotope attribute./p>

  2. Historical Mapping
    1. (not yet available)

IV. Data Structure

X:\  = local file path for GIS data, to be used for ecotope mapping. = USE+COVER symbology style for ArcMap.

 ecotope_template\   Directory for ecotope geodatabase templates.
     ecotope_template.mdb = template file for ecotope geodatabase structure.
     ecotope_files.mdb = template file for ecotope feature classes.
     ecotope_edit.mxd = ArcMap document with tools and settings for ecotope mapping.

 site_name\   Directory for site data.
     \aoi\ Shapefiles outlining the Area of Interest (AOI).
     site_name_r##_c##_aoi.shp = shapefile (UTM): sample cell polygon.
     site_name_r##_c##_aoi_50m_buffer.shp = shapefile (UTM): 50 m buffer of sample cell polygon.

     \imagery\ Imagery for the site.

          \aerials\ Aerial photographs for the site.


V. References

Ellis E. C., H. Wang, H. Xiao, K. Peng, X. P. Liu, S. C. Li, H. Ouyang, X. Cheng, and L. Z. Yang. 2006. Measuring long-term ecological changes in densely populated landscapes using current and historical high resolution imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment 100(4):457-473. [download]