Utilizing online technology to increase the data reach of the forest inventory and analysis program; examples from the Southern United StatesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Benjamin Franklin once said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” It is with that in mind that the Southern Research Station (SRS) Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program jumps feet first into exploring alternative methods of communicating the knowledge that is discovered through broad-scale data collection of the forest resources of the Unite States. One major aspect of our current explorations is the utilization of the esri ArcGIS Online (AGOL) platform and the numerous tools found therein. We describe the efforts of the SRS-FIA program to generate added-value from AGOL by based on the forest products industry of the southern United States and invasive plant data collected across southern forests. In addition, using the AGOL Operations Dashboard, we have developed a pilot project that could prove useful in helping manage our collection of quality assurance (QA) plots as part of a recently updated QA protocol in the SRS-FIA program. As the national FIA program moves forward, our attempts to reach new audiences must include new methods of communication. The FIA program stands to broaden the reach of the data it collects with these new easy-to-use methods, while maintaining the strong support that has been developed over many years of cooperation.