Tools and Data
Introduction to Spatial Data Services
Forest Inventory and Analysis produces and maintains a set of public databases that can be downloaded and used by anyone.
These databases are a valuable resource for many different natural resources questions, such as forest resource assessment, wildlife habitat modeling, fire and pests threat assessment, forest economics, forest change detection.
In order to protect the integrity of the FIA sample, the exact coordinates of our sample plot locations are kept confidential. This protects the privacy of landowners who allow FIA field crews on their land, as well as protects the plots from any tampering. In fact, this policy of location confidentiality is incorporated into law through the Fiscal Year 2000 Consolidated Appropriations Bill (PL 106-113) which amended the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 2276(d)) to include FIA data to the list of items that require confidential treatment.
The Spatial Data Services team was created to provide a connection between researchers and FIA data. We work to provide customers with the information they need in a way that does not compromise the security of the plot locations. We also provide advice and guidance on the proper use of FIA data.
The Spatial Data Services team provides several services, such as:
- Helping clients acquire and use the public FIA database, which includes perturbed plot coordinates to protect landowner's identities
- Performing spatial summaries of FIA variables for a particular area of interest
- Performing spatial overlays between plots and geospatial data provided by our customers
- Providing facilities were a customer may visit and perform their own analysis of FIA data. Spatial Data Services will review the results to insure they comply with the law.
Examples of Data Requests
How can you get SDS to help? Make a Spatial Data Request!