Information Visualization for the Management of Arid Lands Vegetation

Project Number: 
Project Duration: 
14 Months
May 1, 1995 to June 30, 1996
Institution of Principle Investigator while on this project: 
New Mexico State University

Investigators (most current known information)

Entomology, Plant Path, & Weed Science, New Mexico State University, Box 30003 - Dept 3BE, Las Cruces NM 88003
TEL: +1-575-646-3542, FAX: +1-575-646-8087

Proposal Abstract

The goal of this project was to demonstrate an information visualization system for use in arid land vegetation management. The perennial New Mexico rangeland weed pest, broom snakeweed, was used for the initial demonstration but the tools developed are adaptable for visualization and analysis of many problems associated with arid and semi-arid landscapes. All relevant information for broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae (Pursh)) and threadleaf snakeweed (G. microcephala (Gray)) was registered, archived and accessed to visualize landscapes using software developed at New Mexico State University. This software permits the visual correlation of various geo-spatial and temporal data ranging in scale from individual plants to satellite images. The software provides the user with a visual interface to their data through hyper-text and hyper-area links. These data can be satellite imagery, photographs, GIS layers, databases, spreadsheets, custom displays, etc. The visualization system is user-interactive and could serve as an environmental workstation for use in arid lands vegetation management.

The specific objectives of this project were:

  1. Register, index, and encapsulate all relevant information associated with rangeland weed management;
  2. Develop an information registration and retrieval program that will be visually indexed to landscape and legacy data; and
  3. Demonstrate a visualization data management system for rangeland weeds.

The 1st phase of the project was to compile a database for all of the available research on broom snakeweed. Data was indexed spatially and temporally. The main study sites in new Mexico were geo-referenced with standard GPS techniques. Aerial photographs and satellite images for these sites were obtained and digitized. GIS layers were prepared from these data. This database was indexed based on type of study, location of study, date of study, author, title, and reference. The 2nd phase of the study was to link the database to other sources of information such as maps and aerial photographs of study plots to provide site specific management information. This was accomplished using PHOTO-CATALOG SYSTEM (PCS) and LINKER software developed by Physical Science Laboratory, New Mexico State University (PSL). PHOTO-CATALOG SYSTEM is a comprehensive software application which lets the user capture, archive, and display images. LINKER is a PC based software package which permits the visual correlation of geo-spatial and temporal data. LINKER provides the user with a visual interface to their data through hypertext and hyperarea links. The database can be accessed from a map with "hotspot" which link to data related to that location. The user can use the mouse to click on the hotspot and the data related to that position would be displayed. These data could in turn have hotspot links to other datasets ad-infinitum. Links to multiple data per hyperarea/hypertext are permitted and are commonly used to transverse spatial and temporal boundaries.


No outcomes reported


Support for this project came from the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service