Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

#21)  Re: Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Postby Joe » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:23 pm

Don wrote:NTS-ers,
If going through your own tree databases, you think we may have missed a field, or have some refining comments to make, now would be a good time to air them. What we have now is likely to be 'institutionalized" within a month. Not being negative about institutionalized, just pointing out that once we have it in place, it's much more difficult to bring about changes.  So put on your thinking caps, bank up the stove, and see if you've any positive suggestions!
Thanks!!
-Don


Don, I have no stake in the database- as I'm not measuring trees for it- but just as a note, my modest understanding of databases is that it's always possible to add or delete fields from such a database- more or less easy depending on what kind of software you're using.

Joe
User avatar
Joe
 
Posts: 1750
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:26 am
Location: Massachusetts
Has Liked: 0 times
Has Been Liked: 171 times
Print view this post

#22)  Re: Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Postby dbhguru » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:51 pm

Joe,

  From a database record standpoint, you are basically correct. The simplest situation is that if a new field is unrelated to others, its addition/deletion is usually straightforward. However customized website input form(s) would need to be changed. If a generic report generator is used then printouts including the new information should be no problem. I don't know what report generator capabilities we'll be given that will allow us to design our own outputs. The point here is that VA Tech is giving us support at no cost in a quid pro quo arrangement. I doubt that we can tie up their programming staff with design changes unless they derive benefits from our data. They will certainly get some, but how much has not been determined.

  At the design stage, there is often the tendency to try to think of all possibilities. This approach can lead to a format that is so involved that it turns users off. For example, I toyed with the idea of including fields for the input distance and angle measurements under the assumption that we would make use of this information to answer questions such as: on the average how close are measurers to the trees for which they are measuring height? I actually included these kinds of fields in my earlier databases, and that information was useful in a study headed by Dr. Don Bragg some years ago comparing sine versus tangent techniques. But today lots of measurers use hypsometers that yield a final answer. I hate to push them into recording 4 numbers when they would otherwise need to record two, or even only one. Lots of tradeoffs.

   Don and I will be as accommodating as we can be, but in these designs, some times "less is more".

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
User avatar
dbhguru
 
Posts: 4017
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:34 pm
Location: Florence, Massachusetts
Has Liked: 4 times
Has Been Liked: 1070 times
Print view this post

#23)  Re: Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Postby Don » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:15 pm

Joe,
All that said, we do thank you for your thoughtful response!  
-Don

Don, I have no stake in the database- as I'm not measuring trees for it- but just as a note, my modest understanding of databases is that it's always possible to add or delete fields from such a database- more or less easy depending on what kind of software you're using.

Joe[/quote]
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org
User avatar
Don
 
Posts: 1446
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:42 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Has Liked: 69 times
Has Been Liked: 225 times
Print view this post

#24)  Re: Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Postby DougBidlack » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:15 am

Bob, Don,

the one extra field that I would like to see included would be the person or persons who originally found or 'discovered' the tree and perhaps the date.  I think that finding these trees is usually the hardest (though also the most fun) part of what we do and that original moment of discovery should not be wiped clean even if that person did not measure the tree very well.  The date could just be the year, in parentheses, after the name of the person(s) but I would also prefer the month because it would tell us which end of the growing season that the tree was first measured.

Doug

For this message the author DougBidlack has received Likes :
tsharp
User avatar
DougBidlack
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:14 pm
Location: Dighton, MA
Has Liked: 0 times
Has Been Liked: 186 times
Print view this post

#25)  Re: Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Postby Joe » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:32 am

How about a field for a photo? I know it's possible in modern databases. It would be optional in cases where giving the photo might compromise the safety of the tree.

Or, the field could instead be links to another site where there might be many photos and even videos?

Or, the field could be a link to - for example, the NTS thread discussing the tree- or another web site with more information.

Joe
User avatar
Joe
 
Posts: 1750
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:26 am
Location: Massachusetts
Has Liked: 0 times
Has Been Liked: 171 times
Print view this post

#26)  Re: Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Postby Joe » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:34 am

ooops. I see that the database already has "Name of Tree Photo or Movie"

I presume it means a link- not just a name?

Joe
User avatar
Joe
 
Posts: 1750
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:26 am
Location: Massachusetts
Has Liked: 0 times
Has Been Liked: 171 times
Print view this post

#27)  Re: Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Postby dbhguru » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:18 pm

Joe,

  Yes, field 29 is a link to a photo or movie.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
User avatar
dbhguru
 
Posts: 4017
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:34 pm
Location: Florence, Massachusetts
Has Liked: 4 times
Has Been Liked: 1070 times
Print view this post

#28)  Re: Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Postby Larry Tucei » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:04 pm

Bob, Don, all-    The listing looks good and is very detailed. I don't believe you missed anything. Good job guys!!!    Larry
User avatar
Larry Tucei
 
Posts: 1799
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Southern Mississippi
Has Liked: 669 times
Has Been Liked: 575 times
Print view this post

#29)  Re: Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Postby dbhguru » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:00 pm

Ents,

 Yesterday, I had a long telephone conversation with John Peterson at VA Tech. Very productive. Just about all the details have been ironed out. He is going to create a stand alone database for us using the record format identified previously. The first field will be a key field. Don Bertolette and I discussed a key field format yesterday evening:  MM-xxxxxx-NNN is the general format where MM = state abbreviation, xxxxxx = numeric value in the format 000001, 000002, etc. NNN = measurers initials. So, my first submission will be MA-000001-RTL, second tree will be MA-000002-RTL. Discussions with Ray Asselin this morning suggests a form like MM-xxxxxx-NNN-xx where the latter xx identifies a sequence number for the particular tree. The entire key is alphanumeric. Other fields might suggest that measurements of the same tree could be identified by tree name, but not everyone names trees. Nor will everyone necessarily revisit old record regularly for fields updates. This format allows each data contributor to begin with a sequential number 000001. I don't think any of use will measure over 999,999 trees.

  Addressing a question Doug Bidlack asked about storing the original discoverer and date of discovery, this can be handled in the comments section.

  In terms of how the system will work, each measurer will be signed up by John Peterson based on the information that Don and I pass to him. We don't want people signing up who we don't know. So, we need to hear from you if you want in. Then only people who are signed in will be recognized by the system. Once you have your user name and password, you'll be able to use the database to input new trees, edit existing ones, print out lists/reports, and export trees to an Excel file. The public can see all trees, but not the property owner or where the trees are located if those flags are turned off.

  BTW, John Peterson is a professional forester who took up programming as a sideline, so on record design, we can communicate with him more easily than if he were just an IT professional. He measurers trees with a TP 360. How cool is that? John also maintains the VA champion tree list.

  With the above said John is undertaking this project at VA Tech's expense. We must be respectful of his time and of the computer resources they allow us to use. If anyone has a desire to have more fields, now is the time to speak up. My preference is keep it simple.Maybe one or two more fields and only then if plenty of us agree to use them.

  The schedule that John and I agreed to is that we get him the final record layout by Friday. Next week he will work on building our database and website access features. So what does VA Tech get out of this for providing us a free database service. They are able to offer world class tree measurement data to the public and use our tree maximums to update his VTree app. Attached is the import database I sent to John that he'll use unless we add fields between now and Friday.

   I think I know who most of those who are interested in contributing to this database, but I don't want to assume more than I actually know. Please let Don and/or me know if you want to come aboard. We will not submit the names of any who don't contact us and let us know.

   Don, do you have anything to add?

Bob
Attachments
NTS-VATech-TreeDatabaseImportForm.xlsx
(41.03 KiB) Downloaded 16 times
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
User avatar
dbhguru
 
Posts: 4017
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:34 pm
Location: Florence, Massachusetts
Has Liked: 4 times
Has Been Liked: 1070 times
Print view this post

#30)  Re: Link to Virginia Tech Dendrology Lab

Postby ElijahW » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:28 pm

Bob,

This is exciting news.  Thanks to you and Don and everyone else who has been working to make this happen.  My only addition to your list of data fields was the same one as Doug's, but I think your solution will do.  You can sign me up; I'd love to help.

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks
User avatar
ElijahW
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:04 pm
Location: Liverpool, NY
Has Liked: 209 times
Has Been Liked: 252 times
Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Links to Other Tree Groups

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron