EnviroAtlas Data Approach
EnviroAtlas Uses an Indicator and Index Approach to Ecosystem Services
- We select and develop indicators for their ability to provide information about a particular ecosystem service.
- Many of the indicators are not a direct measurement of a specific ecosystem service but rather provide one piece of a complex puzzle of information.
- Indicators have been selected for their ability to describe provision, benefits and beneficiaries, and drivers of change of ecosystem services.
- Some of the community data gets closer to ecosystem services measurements than does the national data because models have been developed that can be applied at the community scale.
- Taken collectively, a group of indicators can get closer to an ecosystem service quantification, EnviroAtlas is adding tools allowing the user to take a group of indicators and combine them into an index.
- The EnviroAtlas team is continuing to develop more robust indicators.
EnviroAtlas Relies on Foundational Data
- The development of indicators relies on the availability of nationally and locally available data sets which provide inputs to models and calculations.
- EnviroAtlas supports the development of some data sets that provide important inputs.
- Land cover, for example, is a critical data set that is necessary for the computation of many of the EnviroAtlas data layers.
- EnviroAtlas supports the development of the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD)Exit, a 30 meter resolution product.
- We also develop the high resolution land cover, a 1 meter resolution product, that is used for the selected communities.
- For investigating changes over time, it is important to have land cover data available for multiple time periods.
- NLCD is produced every 5 years.
- Other data sets such as stream hydrography, soils, demographics, topography, and economic data, in combination with land cover, are used to produce our indicators.