Association of State Wetland Managers - Protecting the Nation's Wetlands.

The Compleat Wetlander: A Great Notion – Wetland Image Gallery

Sometimes when one thing gets done, then another action is needed, then another, then another.  For example when a room gets a new carpet and then suddenly the wall color and curtains need to be replaced as well.

This happened recently with the completion of the National Wetland Mapping Standard
.  Updating the old National Wetland Inventory to work in a GIS environment and getting it adopted by the Federal Geographic Data Committee has required some tweaks and revisions to other related standards.  One of these is the Cowardin classification system, which sorts the wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States into a classification hierarchy.  It is based largely on vegetative structure (or lack thereof in the case of mudflats) and landscape location.  As part of this process the committee working on the project discovered that the photographs used to illustrate the different kinds of wetlands were black and white images from the 1970s
(go to the ‘Plates 1-86’ at the end of the document).

So today the Federal Geographic Data Committee rolled out the Wetland Image Gallery, which will allow people from all over the country to submit pictures to illustrate the different kinds of wetlands.  It’s so new, there hasn’t been an opportunity to post more than a couple of pictures.  But this website provides the opportunity for so much more than replacing 86 old black and white photographs

The gallery allows anyone to submit wetland pictures which are then peer-reviewed for accuracy before posting.  Now there can be many pictures rather than one to show how one wetland type varies from one area to the other and season to season.  They will be in color.   Location, date and other information is required.  The gallery provides an opportunity to provide a record of one wetland over time, or to post reference wetlands pictures to support various wetland programs.  Pictures can be added by anyone from wetland professionals providing examples of unique wetlands to middle school students learning about wetlands as part of a science project.

The Wetland Image Gallery demonstrates how technology and science can be used to develop tools that are useful to scientists, program managers and the general public collectively.  Now all we need is a smart phone “app” to go with it.

Jeanne Christie

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