Texas ecological systems database project
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Texas Ecological Systems Database Project. Data access at: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/land/maps/gis/tescp/index.phtml. Project Goals. Increase resolution of landcover mapping for Texas Use field data to validate project

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Texas Ecological Systems Database Project

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Texas Ecological Systems Database Project

Data access at: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/land/maps/gis/tescp/index.phtml

Project Goals

  • Increase resolution of landcover mapping for Texas

  • Use field data to validate project

  • Integrate High Plains mapping with Texas Ecological Mapping Systems Data

Phase 6

September 2013

Texas Ecological Mapping Systems Database Project

Phase 1

Available Now

Phase LPC

February 2012

Phase 2

Available Now

Phase 5

September 2012

Phase 3

Available Now

Phase 4

September 2011

  • Floyd – Motley Area Bing Maps

  • Floyd – Motley Area EMS

Products/Enduring Value

  • Potential natural vegetation

  • Existing vegetation using an improved classification

  • Improved Ecological Systems interpretations for High Plains

  • Abiotic Site Type Data

  • Ground truth dataset (1,000+ Points in High Plains / 10,000+ Points Statewide)

  • User will build their own added value:

    • Context (local, regional, statewide)

    • Management options

    • Conservation opportunity areas

    • Ecological significance and risk (riverine/aquatics as well)

    • Species habitat modeling

    • Development of educational and interpretive materials

    • Change detection

  • Field Data Collected includes:

  • Top 3 dominant species in Tree, Shrub, Herbaceous and Succulent Strata

  • Percent Woody and Herbaceous Cover

    • Includes % Live Oak, Shrub, Tree, other Evergreen

  • Landcover and Mapping System

  • Reference photo

Current Extent of Texas Ecological Mapping System Data

Environmental data (slope, aspect, elevation,

solar insolation)

Training data from air photos plus ground data

3-date TM Satellite Imagery (30m resolution)

Land use data (NRCS Common Land Units)

Classify Land Cover

(e.g. cold deciduous forest)

Draft Mapping Targets

(NatureServe Ecological Systems)

Assign Information using soils, ecoregions, geology, ecological site type, hydrology (“modeling”)

Create Map with Named Mapping Units

(e.g. West Gulf Coastal Plain Bottomland Seasonally Flooded Forest)

Provide Interpretation of Mapping Units

(booklet, summary statistics by ecoregion, etc.)

Design and Execute Presentation

  • Modeling Inputs

  • National Agricultural Imagery Program 2010 Ortho-imagery

  • TPWD Generated Image Objects

  • Multi-date Landsat TM5 Imagery

  • TPWD Developed Landcover Data (12 Classes)

  • 1:24k National Hydrologic Data

  • National Elevation Dataset 10m DEMs

  • Playa Lakes Joint Venture Probable Playa Layer

  • TPWD Updated Common Land Unit Data

  • TPWD Modified Natural Resource Conservation Service SSURGO Data

Ecological Mapping Systems

  • Object Generation Steps – Raw NAIP

  • Object Generation Steps – PCA

  • Object Generation Steps _ PCA 10m

  • Object Generation Steps – PCA zoom

  • Object Generation Steps – PCA 10m zoom

  • Object Generation Steps – ERDAS Imagine Objective

  • Object Generation Steps _ PCA 10m and Objects

  • Object Generation Steps _ PCA 10m and Objects zoom

  • SSURGO Soils:

  • Extensive clean-up of soils

  • Edge match ESD across county boundaries

  • Make sure ESD spatial distribution makes sense

  • SSURGO Soils Ecological Site Descriptions

  • Before TPWD modification

  • TPWD Modified ESDs

  • Landcover Classes



Deciduous Woodland and Forest

Deciduous Shrub

Coniferous Evergreen Shrub

High Intensity Urban

Low Intensity Urban


Mixed Woodland and Forest

Open Water

Dense Deciduous Shrub


  • Floyd – Motley Area Landsat

  • Floyd – Motley Area Landcover

  • Floyd – Motley Area Riparian

  • Floyd – Motley Area Slope Zones

  • Floyd – Motley Area TPWD Modified ESDs

  • Floyd – Motley Area SSURGO Map Units

  • Floyd – Motley Area PLJV Probable Playas

  • Floyd – Motley Area EMS

Ecological Modeling Interpretation

Partial Legend of Mapped Types

Modeling Existing Vegetation Type Using

Ecological Site Types (Ecoclasses) and Landcover

Evolving and Improving Implementation

  • Initially implemented in raster. Time consuming and prone to error introduction.

  • Moved to vector, working with attributed polygons.

  • Initial models used Excel. Moved to Access to reduce error introduction through transcription.

  • Initial vector models used Model Builder. Moved to python to make implementation more transparent and reproducible.

  • Improvements result in ability to rapidly iterate changes in model to visualization in map. Modeling issues can be quickly visualized and corrected.

Texas Ecological Mapping Systems Database Status

April 2011

Data access at: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/land/maps/gis/tescp/index.phtml

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