Manual FOR Anthropogenic Ecotope Mapping (AEM)
Web Version 1.0 (alpha) February 2006
This document is a printable manual for use in Level 1
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). Ecotope.org. February 2006. The Ecotope Mapping
Working Group. <Date of Access> <http:/www.ecotope.org/aem/training/aem_concepts.htm>.
Table of Contents
- Mapping Overview
- Mapping Levels
- Current Mapping
- Historical Mapping
- Mapping Strategy
- ArcMap & ArcCatalog 9.0 (or better) on a Windows computer.
- ArcGIS Templates: file locations in Data_Structure
- Geodatabase and feature class templates
- ArcMap editing document
- Sample cell (area frame) shapefiles for area of interest (AOI).
- Orthorectified imagery for AOI meeting minimum data quality standards.
- Assistance of local land managers.
- Ecotope Mapping Concepts. A printable web-based document
introducing the basic concepts behind
- ecotope_classes.xls: database of all classes for ecotope
- GROUP_key.pdf: details of GROUP+TYPE classification
- key_to_complex_features.pdf: methods for classifying and
mapping small and complex features.
- Prepare ecotope geodatabase and map templates
for sample cell.
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.
Copy the geodatabase ecotope_template.mdb to the
folder (use ArcCatalog). (see Data_Structure).
Rename it: site_name_r##_c##_l1_ecotope_map.mdb.
Copy ecotope_edit.mxd to the directory and rename it:
- Define the sample cell extent and location.
- Create and
define the projection of feature datasets.
- Create new feature dataset: AOI".
- Set the extent and projection (this is very important!):
- Right click the AOI feature dataset and click
- Browse to the 50 m buffered sample cell extent shapefile for
your sample cell (AOI) and click Add and OK.
- Copy, paste, and rename the AOI feature dataset to create ecotope feature datasets with the same projection and
- Import the sample cell extent (AOI) and 50 m AOI buffer
shapefiles into the AOI feature dataset of the geodatabase.
- Import ecotope_time_1 feature class from
ecotope_files.mdb into the ecotope feature dataset.
- 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:
- 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##).
- Set topology for ecotope map editing
- RRight click on the ecotope feature dataset and select
- Name the topology ecotope_topology.
- Set the cluster tolerance to 0.1 m.
- Select the ecotope_time_1_v1 feature class to participate
in the topology.
- Click next twice to enter default values.
- Click on Add Rule to add topologies:
- Must not overlap
- Must not have gaps
- Click next and subsequent options to build and validate
- Set up the ArcMap Document for editing
- Open site_name_r##_c##_l1_ecotope_map.mxd
- Add the sample cell extent (AOI) and 50 m AOI buffer feature
- Add the ecotope_time_1_v1 feature class
- Start Editing
- >Set Selectable Layers: uncheck the AOI feature classes so
that these cannot be edited.
- Symbolize AOIs: hollow: AOI in red, AOI buffer in purple.
- Set the snapping:
- Edge and Vertex of ecotope_time_1_v1
- NOTE: it may be necessary to change edge and vertex snapping
while drawing features to get optimal topology.
- Set the Target layer for editing: ecotope_time_1_v1
Add imagery for the sample cell.
Interpret and edit ecotope features
Draw each feature based on the correct minimum mapping
scales and in the correct sequence.
If you are unsure of this, consult with an expert ecotope
mapper. More information is also available in
Attribute the mapped features (you may do this as you
draw the features, or later).
Open the attribute editor box.
Select the correct classification attributes for every level
of the ecotope feature
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.
Classification section for details.
Ecotope codes can be viewed and experimented using the
Check Ecotopes section.
(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.
Symbolize the ecotope maps.
Calculate the UC and ecotope fields.
Right click on the layer in the table of contents and
select the option.
Symbolize features using USE+COVER Symbology for the UC
Use the Match Symbols method and use_cover_symbology.style.
ADD Labels: ecotope attribute./p>
- (not yet available)
= local file path for GIS data, to be used for ecotope mapping.
use_cover_symbology.style = USE+COVER symbology style for ArcMap.
Directory for ecotope geodatabase templates.
ecotope_template.mdb = template file for ecotope
ecotope_files.mdb = template file for ecotope feature
ecotope_edit.mxd = ArcMap document with tools and
settings for ecotope mapping.
Directory for site data.
\aoi\ Shapefiles outlining the Area of Interest (AOI).
site_name_r##_c##_aoi.shp = shapefile (UTM): sample
site_name_r##_c##_aoi_50m_buffer.shp = shapefile (UTM):
50 m buffer of sample cell polygon.
\imagery\ Imagery for the site.
photographs for the site.
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]