Erle Ellis: Research Projects: 1998 - 1999

CASFS Farm Landscape Mapping Project

  Project Methods Overview:

STAGE 1: GIS base layer development (completed June, 1999).

  1. Prepared Farm and Arboretum Digital Elevation Model (DEM) from UCSC 1961 two foot topographic survey data.  Data were converted to ArcView GIS format using ArcInfo, from AutoCAD files and paper maps digitized using MapInfo.
  2. Ground Control Points (GCP) were collected across the Farm and Arboretum in locations recognizable in 1996 aerial photographs of UCSC, using a Trimble ProXR Global Positioning System (GPS).
  3. DEM, GCP, and camera data were used to orthorectify a scanned 1996 aerial photograph of the farm and arboretum in ERDAS Imagine to create a rectified imagery layers in ArcView.
  4. Farm soils surveyed and mapped by NRCS on topographic maps were digitized using MapInfo to make a soils base layer.
  5. ArcView layers (imagery and DEM) were converted to MapInfo format to prepare a basic farm management GIS.

STAGE 2: Farm land management system (completed June, 1999).

  1. Supplemental GCPs were collected across the farm for field verification of land use patterns and to facilitate future monitoring and sampling activities.
  2. A fine-scale farm landscape classification system was developed based on ecotope classification using terrain, management, biota, and group classes.
  3. 1996 and 1999 farm land use polygons, perennial vegetation cover, and other permanent features were digitized onto rectified farm imagery in MapInfo, based on field knowledge of management and vegetation patterns.
  4. Land use maps were field-verified using 1:1,500 farm map printouts overlaid with 100 foot gridlines.
  5. Farm slope class grid layer derived from DEM using Vertical Mapper for MapInfo, based on NRCS slope capability classes.
  6. All polygons and features given unique codes for integration with farm management databases stored in Microsoft Excel workbooks.
  7. Farm management GIS product completed in MapInfo, and ported to ArcView for research use.  
  8. Prepared poster-size maps and web page images of farm land use, soils, terrain, and other features using MapInfo and ArcView.  3-D images developed to illustrate interactions between farm terrain, soils and land use using Vertical Mapper.

STAGE 3: Natural resource inventory and monitoring (planned).

  1. Integration of detailed farm management databases with farm land use GIS.
  2. Development of precision sampling and monitoring plan.
  3. Grid sampling of soils. Physical, chemical and biological measurements of soil health and natural resource stocks.
  4. Stratified sampling of farm vegetation. Mapping of primary productivity and biodiversity of vegetation.
  5. Microclimate classification and monitoring system.
  6. Development of risk-based sustainable land management system.