These banner images are from the Wieslander Vegetation Type Mapping Collection, courtesy of the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library, University of California, Berkeley.

California Vegetation Type Mapping

Aren't these pictures awesome! They come from the California Vegetation Type Map (VTM) collection, which was created in the 1920s – 1930s (spearheaded by Dr. Wieslander). The entire collection consists of five parts: 1) hundreds of landscape photographs, 2) plot information from thousands of plots detailing forest type, species present, etc., 3) plot locator maps, 4) hand-drawn vegetation maps, and 5) specimens. The collection is a valuable historical resource for understanding changes over a decadal scale to California’s wildlands and urban interface.

My lab was part of a larger project to digitize this dataset, and make it web available for researchers. Our portion of the project was to scan and geo-reference the plot maps, and to digitize all plot data. The great Ken-ichi Ueda lead this portion of the project. The UCB library has scanned and cataloged the landscape photographs, and Jim Thorne at UCD has been digitizing and geo-referencing the vegetation maps.

Now, the Keck Engine funding has re-energized our excitement in this collection. With David Ackerly, we want to use the collection to understand changes to California's flora in the 20th century, and to help with our climate change predictive engine.

Collaborators: David Ackerly, Barbara Allen Diaz, Ken-ichi Ueda, Ann Huber, Tim Doherty UCB-ESPM-ES; Brian Thomas and Brent Pedersen UCB CNR; Jim Thorne, Jeff Kennedy UCD; Beth Weil, Norma Kobzina, UCBLibrary; Jeremy Fried, USDA-FS PNW; Carol DuMuth, USDA-FS PSW; and several others.

Related Publications:

2005 article in Madrono by Kelly, Allen-Diaz and Kobzina describing the collection.

2007 article in Plant Ecology by Kelly, Ueda and Allen-Diaz describing the spatial accuracy of plot database.

More Information:

Koshland Library Collection of VTM photographs
My picasa site of VTM photos around the SF Bay: Start your photo-reshoot engines!
VTM Project Information (large .pdf file)