TABLE OF CONTENTS
The ESRI Conservation Data Manager (CDM) is a set of ArcView2 and dBase
tools for managing data in both tabular and spatial environments. A great
deal of scientific and conservation data is stored on computers in tabular
form (consisting of rows and columns), including species lists, specimen
databases, and quantitative plot data. Database managers like dBase and
Foxpro are popular and well-established choices for using tabular data.
Scientific data also frequently includes spatial data, such as latitude-longitude,
physigraphic descriptions, location descriptions, directions and place
names. This spatial data can be explicitly represented and managed using
geographic information system (GIS) tools like ArcView. The Conservation
Data Manager is the union of the best tools for desktop spatial and tabular
data management into a single integrated tool.
The CDM has the following advantages
- DATA INTEGRATION: Integration of many different types of data
- MODULAR DESIGN: Database handling, Analyses and interface are completely independent
- EASY MODIFICATION: Very easy to modify and customize
- OPEN GROWTH PATH: Accommodates new object-oriented databases and interfaces.
The brilliant red wildflower called Scarlet Skyrocket has been proposed for endangered species listing. Is it possible to find out what parks it is found in, why it is there, how those parks are managed and if from all this we can derive a national species management plan?
The National Park Service has been collecting national data on the status of plants and animals in national parks with the NPFLORA and NPFAUNA programs. These exist as dBase-style tabular databases with species lists for many of the parks and status of the species at that park. Some of these species are widespread across all parks and some are restricted, rare and endangered. ESRI has been collecting data on park management, including which parks have filed management plans, which problems with non-native species, lists of data sources on vegetation ecology for each park, and so on. ESRI has also been creating many map database for the US of ecological biomes, physiography, rivers, etc. ESRI and NPS both have national digital maps showing locations and often actual boundaries for all parks in the system.
To answer our question we will need to look at NPFLORA to see what parks have scarlet skyrocket, then at the map databases to see where those parks are and ecologcial patterns they exhibit, then to the ESRI survey data to check management status for those parks and determine if there are any critical areas for this species. The following example shows how the CDM provides a single integrated environment to do all of these tasks.
The CDM search screen lets us type in the name of the plant we want
to know about, either as full scientific name, common name, or genus only.
Once we get to the main data screen we can see the entire list of related species and subspecies. We can also look at a photograph of the species. We see that for one of the subspecies we have a few specimen records from a herbarium, lets see what these tell us about scarlet skyrocket.