Hi folks.  As you may be aware, Erle is taking a class of landscape design students to Harvard Forest (HF) this October, to demonstrate the ecosynth platform.  If past years are any indication, this should be a nice time of year to see the difference in senescence times between the early coloring species, such as the birches, and the more dominant oaks and maples which will likely still be green at this time:  http://phenocam.sr.unh.edu/data/archive/harvard/2009/10/harvard_200...

There may also be some nice edge effects in senescence closer to the buildings.

In planning a location for the ecosynth flight, Erle has identified the following objectives:


1)      Cover an area of approximately 250x250m

2)      Include a combination of forest and built structures (roads, buildings) or open areas- and any other features that might also be of interest to landscape architects (just forest won’t be so interesting for them).  Might be nice to see some edge effects and forest patterns related to different patterns of secondary succession (older and younger fields, different prior land use).

3)      Be scanned in 3D using an autonomous flight (Stephen has now mastered this).  This requires a specialized flight plan.


I think a good tool for planning will be the HF GIS online map:  http://cga-5.hmdc.harvard.edu/forest/

It will probably be best to stick around the main buildings including the museum, which would be the northernmost set of colored patches on the map, along N Main St.  The museum is also a great place to learn about the land use history of HF, with an exhibit about what has happened there since the arrival of Europeans.  You may wish to spend more time outside, however.

On this map, you can display the buildings and several other polygon data sets from HF's rich GIS archive.  I recommend taking off near the main buildings to do something that will include both built and natural environment.  There is a pasture to the north of the museum which might be nice to include, and you may get some pictures of cows if they're out.  Then using the GIS map, we can think about what kinds of natural environments to include.  In the layers you can see the boundaries of the silviculture treatments and the degree of damage from the 1938 hurricane, which created a patchwork of disturbance intensity.  These may help to figure out where specifically to plan the flight.

I am happy to join this excursion, and depending on timing, may want to head a bit deeper into the woods to fly my study area, which is entirely forested.  We can figure that out closer to Oct 4.

Looking forward to it


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Hi Steve,
Great beginnings!  This sounds like a very good prospect.  Is there a way to see imagery in the HF GIS map? I couldnt find it.  Alternatively- we could try google maps?  I had a quick try- and here it is.
View Harvard Forest Field Trip in a larger map

Hi, that plan looks pretty good.  How did you create the polygon?  Did you create a KML file and then upload it?

In the HF GIS map, it is possible to see imagery.  You need to click on the very small icon of a stack of squares in the upper right hand corner of the map.  Then you can adjust the transparency of the different google maps layers and whatever overlays you've added.

It would be nice to integrate this with the planning you've started in google maps, but i'm not sure it's possible.  So it may be better to just use the HF map for informational purposes and do the actually planning in google maps.

I wonder if the HF maps might be exported for use in google maps or on google Earth?  If you put me in touch with the folks who manage these data, we can probably make it happen?  Would be nice for my course as well....

Just to follow up on this, we found out that the shapefiles used to make the Harvard Forest data map are available on the web:  http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu:8080/exist/xquery/data.xq?id=h...

These could probably be converted to KML using ArcMAP, and then imported to Google Earth.



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