The use of mobile mapping technology to automate surveying and monitoring of southern pine beetle
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The USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, is responsible for maintaining an ORACLE database named the Southern Pine Beetle Information System (SPBIS). SPBIS was designed to store survey data for Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) infestations on federal land across the southern United States. The main purpose of this project is to improve the SPBIS database to aid in management of SPB infestations to reduce losses, to harvest compromised timber while it still has value, and to assist resource managers in preventing further infestations from becoming established. The SPBIS mobile mapping system addresses current problems with the database and offers viable solutions to each. Mobile mapping technology is a versatile tool, which is used to collect field data, with unique geospatial time tags and attributes, for integrating into or updating a GIS (Rasher 2001). The ability to efficiently collect data is essential to developing a useable database. The time required to manually enter data into the database is substantial. Ranger district personnel often do not have the time or the desire to enter data. Currently, the database is lacking years of survey and infestation data due to these negligent data entry practices, limiting the usefulness database. Currently, SPBIS data is recorded on a paper survey form. This system introduces a digital version of this form. A time study conducted to define the efficiency of each survey showed that the digital form to be more efficient with a Mann-Whitney p- value of 0.004. A comparative study was conducted to define the difference between currently estimated SPB infestation acreage and those measured using GPS. A Mann-Whitney pvalue of 0.000 shows the significant difference between the two acreage values. GPS measured acreage proved to be more accurate thus promoting the use of GPS for measuring acreage. Navigation us ing GPS coordinates was successful and will greatly decrease the time required to locate a SPB infestation on the ground. This thesis describes a mobile mapping system designed specifically to remedy the problems associated with SPBIS. This system eliminates the need for manual entry of field-collected data, while improving field data collection in terms of efficiency and accuracy.
Petty, Saul David (2005). The use of mobile mapping technology to automate surveying and monitoring of southern pine beetle. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from