Maura OlivosSalt Lake Community CollegeGEOG 2900 – A. DastrupApril 30, 2012                           Alta Ski Area Vegeta...
6. “Intersect” or “Erase” new polygon layer with other appropriate polygon attributes to reach final        plant communit...
1. Share a five-layer map (aerial image, predictive output, elevation, slope and aspect) with other        certified Ecolo...
Geoprocessing Steps and Notes   1. Prepared Data         a. Vector Data for Selection                   i. Trees          ...
2. Raster Calculator: input - slope_degree <= 30 / output – 1 or 30DegLess (raster)                     3. Intersect: Geop...
5. Elevation: max 10400                ii. Queries:                        1. Raster Calculator: ("slope_degree" <= 40) & ...
•   Forest Management Zones: Vector, polygon – georeferenced 1995 hand-drawn map•   Plant Comm_1997: Vector, polygon – geo...
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Final Project Update

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Final Project Update

  1. 1. Maura OlivosSalt Lake Community CollegeGEOG 2900 – A. DastrupApril 30, 2012 Alta Ski Area Vegetation Communities – A Predictive Analysis MapIndependent Study UpdateThis project was pursued with the intent to “help guide both the Forest Service and the ski industry inmaintaining, restoring and managing sensitive alpine environments and national forests for continuedsustainable commerce of our national lands.”1 This consisted of identifying appropriate data for analysis,performing a series of geoprocessing tools, displaying the output in a visually appealing map, and mostimportantly identifying the relevant use and additional steps to refine the data. Much of the projects stepsdiverted from the original proposal, but the outcome is believed to be of higher quality than if the originallyintended data sources were used for analysis. The remainder of this update details the methodology, results,next steps and project reflection.MethodologyData Acquisition: The data used for this analysis was completed with four different resources than originallyplanned. 1. As mentioned in the February 15, 2012 project proposal, ASA was just starting its GIS program with the process of georeferencing CAD files for GIS use and acquiring appropriate DEMs. From this contracted work Alta was supplied with the slope, aspect and elevation topographic files, vector line and polygon files, as well as a georeferenced aerial image rasters for this analysis. 2. Completed in December 2012, the original 1997 “Vegetation Communities Map” from the Final EIS – Alta Ski Area Master Development Plan was georeferenced. The re-creation of that map’s features was completed to act as a guideline in identifying each plant community type’s defining attributes. 3. The Town of Alta was the third party source for viable vector data, including: structures, contour lines, roads, lifts, and mountain summits. 4. Lastly, polygon shapes were drawn to identify true locations of different plant community types based from ASA’s Vegetation Management Plan study plot point data.Data Analysis: This analysis of the data was the bulk of this project and took a long series of trial and errors indetermining the best geoprocessing tools for the desired and workable output. The following includes thebasic steps for each plant community type. For detailed notes please see attached “Geoprocessing Steps andNotes.” 1. Define classification fields for slope, aspect and elevation. 2. Prepare vector data, included connecting polylines to convert to polygons 3. Identify defining attributes for each vegetation type, includes: vector similarities, slope, aspect and elevation. 4. Perform a binary spatial analysis with geoprocessing tool “Raster Calculator” for slope, aspect and elevation. 5. Select Binary Output “1” to create a new layer and convert “Raster to Polygon.”1 “A Proposal for GIS Independent Study”, Maura Olivos, February 15, 2012. M. Olivos – page 1 of 1
  2. 2. 6. “Intersect” or “Erase” new polygon layer with other appropriate polygon attributes to reach final plant community type.Deliverables & ResultsMost of the deliverables of this project were met with the following (detailed from original proposal) and canall be found at this site - http://olivosgisportfolio.yolasite.com. Uncompleted portions are colored in red. 1. A georeferenced version of ASA’s “Vegetation Management Plan” management boundaries in the form a vector file, including appropriate attributes and metadata. 2. A georeferenced version of ASA’s “Vegetation Types” boundaries in the form of a vector file, including appropriate attributes and metadata. 3. An updated version of the “Vegetation Types” map with predictive analysis providing vegetation designations for disturbed ground within ASA to guide restoration efforts in the form of a vector file with appropriate attributes and metadata, and an analysis outline. 4. Map and paper describing the findings and potential applications of this project.Next StepsThe symbology of the final map for this project was manipulated to show a finished product, but to allow forusable data for greater purposes the actual data files still need refinement. The following includes the nextappropriate steps to allow for a sharable dataset. M. Olivos – page 2 of 2
  3. 3. 1. Share a five-layer map (aerial image, predictive output, elevation, slope and aspect) with other certified Ecologists and Botanist for third party verification of the predictive analysis. 2. Refine Vegetation Type data layers, includes: a. Merging or dissolving overlapping polygons of the same vegetation type. b. Editing attribute tables c. Permanently joining all vegetation types into a single feature class. 3. Edit anomalies within the predictive model and make note 4. Determine whether a model can be made and performed.Once these steps are completed the project will have received appropriate verification for use and diffusionwith other ski areas or micro-management of alpine ecosystems throughout the west.Project ReflectionThis project was much more complicated than originally thought, however I believe the visual output is of highquality and follows true to the predictive model with minor editing. In the beginning of this process the stepswere elongated due to the unknown viability of the output. Once output was confirmed, then I became morecomfortable with compiling data commands in single queries (versus a series of individual feature selectionqueries). Once other ecologists confirm the data, a lot of time will additionally be needed to edit the featuresso they output in a usable format with the attribute table. At first, I was very uncomfortable with not beingable to completely finish the data editing, but then I received the opportunity to hear from a guest GISprofessional “Buck” in my “Maps and Measurements” course. His comment was that the refinement of amap’s data can take up to 10 years, considering the verification, continued field trips, and collaboration, whichis how long he and his team had been working on the maps that he shared with us. I feel much betterknowing that though geoprocessing analysis can take a relatively short amount of time, verifying the data andediting it so that it is in a usable format can take a significant amount of collaboration and time. M. Olivos – page 3 of 3
  4. 4. Geoprocessing Steps and Notes 1. Prepared Data a. Vector Data for Selection i. Trees ii. Plant Comm 2011 iii. Wetlands iv. Albion Wetlands v. Land Cover vi. AltaPavedRoads b. Raster Data for Selection: Classified DEMs to appropriate needs i. Slope ii. Aspect iii. Elevation c. Conversions i. Tree_Vegetation polyline to polygons (ArcToolbox > Data Management Tools > Features > Feature to Polygon) ii. Edited AltaPavedRoads to close polylines then converted to polygons (Alta Paved Areas) – to be used as an erase feature iii. Did not do the same with dirt roads because layer is not updated and falls under the potential predictive model since they are not permanent. 2. Created Control Vegetation sites to determine criteria for each plant community type (slope, elevation, aspect, etc.) 3. Conifer Willow a. Attributes i. Trees & wetlands (no intermittent wetlands) must be present ii. Slope 0 – 30 iii. Aspect – all iv. Elevation – all v. vi. Queries: 1. Performed a Binary Spatial Analyst to determine Initial criteria for slope and aspect M. Olivos – page 4 of 4
  5. 5. 2. Raster Calculator: input - slope_degree <= 30 / output – 1 or 30DegLess (raster) 3. Intersect: Geoprocessing > Intersect – Input: Trees and Intermittent Wetlands / output: WetTrees 4. Convert Raster Data to Polygons: input - 30DegLess (raster) / output – 30deg (polygons) 5. Selection by Attribute: 30deg – Gridcode = 1 > make selection into a layer 6. Intersect: Geoprocessing > Intersect – Input: WetTrees and 30deg / output: ConiferWillow4. Alpine Forb: General description i. Attributes 1. No trees & wetlands 2. Present in Rock Talus & Alpine Forb 3. Slope: 10-40 4. Aspects: all but S & SW 5. Elevation: 10400 ft or more ii. Queries 1. Rock Talus & Alpine Forb > Selected from Plant_Comm_2011 and made into a new layer 2. Erase Analysis: Input – New Rock Talus-Alpine, Erase – Wetland and Trees 3. Elevation: Raster Calculator input >=10400 ft / output 10400ft (Binary 1) 4. Raster to Polygon: Input 10400ft / Output 10400ft 5. Selected 9800 ft and less to use for Erase feature 6. Raster Calculator: (Slope>=10) & (Slope <= 40) 7. Raster Calculator: (Aspect >= 157) & (Aspect <= 247), but worked with output 0 8. Raster to Polygon: Both Slope and Aspect outputs 9. Select appropriate Grid Codes and Intersect Slope and Aspect 10. Intersect SlopeAspect with RockTalus-AlpineForb for final AlpineForb layer5. Short Forb: General Description i. Attributes: 1. No trees & wetlands 2. Acceptable parameters: Rock Talus and Short Forb 3. Slope: 0-40 4. Aspects: No W, NW, N M. Olivos – page 5 of 5
  6. 6. 5. Elevation: max 10400 ii. Queries: 1. Raster Calculator: ("slope_degree" <= 40) & ("elevation" < 10400) & ("aspect" >= 22) & ("aspect" <= 247) 2. Convert Raster to Polygon 3. Erase from new polygon: trees, wetlands, conifer willow, alpine forb 4. A lot of overlap with potential other plant community types, must come back to later after more has been narrowed down. 5.6. Tall Forb: This plant community type can exist with many other specific community characteristics. Attempt will be made to identify generals then overlapping areas with other plant community will be separated out. i. Attributes 1. No rock/talus, no glacial polish rock 2. Acceptable overlap: Intermittent wetlands, trees, wetlands 3. Slope: 0-30 4. Aspect: No S 5. Elevation: max 10200 / True tall Forb 9800 ii. Queries: 1. Raster Calculation: ("slope_degree" <= 30) & ("elevation" <= 3109) & ("aspect" <= 157) 2. Raster Calculator: ("slope_degree" <= 30) & ("elevation" <= 3109) & ("aspect" >= 202) 3. Raster to Polygon 4. Select output 1 and merge to “PossibleTallForb”areas (use for following) iii. Tall Forb Variety Queries 1. Intersect: Tall Forb + Intermittent Wetlands + Trees (erase ConiferWillow) = ConiferWillowTallForb 2. Intersect: Tall Forb + Trees = ConiferTallForb 3. Tall Forb Possible and Erase: ConiferWillowTallForb and ConiferTallForb 4. Intersect: Tall Forb + Intermittent Wetlands = Tall ForbWillow 5. Conifer/Tall Forb > Must Select out the known areas of Aspen for Aspen/Tall Forb 6. Raster Calculator: ("elevation" >= 3109) & ("aspect" >= 202) & ("slope_degree" >= 25) & ("slope_degree" <= 40)= ShrubTall ForbPotential a. Convert raster to polygon b. Select gride code = 1 and make selection into layer c. Erase all layers that apply to narrow area occurrence7. Conifer/Shrub i. Attributes: Are the presence of all trees ii. Queries 1. Trees Erase (ConiferWillow, ConiferWillowTallForb, ConiferTallForb)8. New Data to add to ASA Geodatabase • Tree_Vegetation2: Vector, polygon – converted polyline of Tree_Vegetation • AltaPavedAreas: Vector, polygon – completed (closed lines) and converted polyline of paved areas in Alta to a polygon file M. Olivos – page 6 of 6
  7. 7. • Forest Management Zones: Vector, polygon – georeferenced 1995 hand-drawn map• Plant Comm_1997: Vector, polygon – georeferenced 1995 hand-drawn plant community type areas• Plant_Comm_2011: Vector, polygon – 2011 minor update of 1995 data• Plant Community Types: Vector polygon – spatial analysis process o Conifer Willow o Alpine Forb o Short Forb o Tall Forb o Willow-Tall Forb o Conifer-Tall Forb o Conifer Willow o Conifer-Willow-Tall Forb o Conifer – Shrub o Shrub – Tall Frob o Scree, Cliffs, Glacial Bedrock and Krumholz M. Olivos – page 7 of 7

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