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Using a Geographical Information System for the Input and Analysis of Historical Western Spruce Budworm in British Columbia

Author(s) or contact(s): N. Parfett, D. Clarke, and A. van Sickle
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Forest Health
Series: FRDA Report
Other details:  Published 1994. Hardcopy is available.


The British Columbia western spruce budworm geographical information system was developed by Natural Resources Canada, Forest Insect and Disease Survey (FIDS). By bringing all historical pest information into one common database, the system provides a comprehensive, spatially based historical record of western spruce budworm infestations. The complete database spans 85 years, from 1909 to 1993. Budworm defoliation occurred during 55 of those years. A total of 332 maps were input to the FIDS's ARC/INFO geographical information system (GIS). Another 164 map products were developed from the resultant data set.

FIDS's GIS enables comprehensive queries and timely summaries of the spatial database. Products include: defoliation maps for varying scales, regions, and years; overlay analysis maps for any consecutive or nonconsecutive years; theme overlay maps; and tabular database reports. A defoliation frequency map was developed to determine risk, defined here as likelihood of pest occurrence in a given area. This map is included in the report in 8.5 x 11 inch colour paper format.

The system and products are important to various clients including provincial and industrial agencies, managing foresters, and research scientists. It can increase awareness of western spruce budworm activity and facilitate pest modelling. In addition it provides a platform for many different kinds of geographical analyses.

This GIS project provides a basis from which systems for other pests could be developed.

FRDA Research Report 219 (243 KB)

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Updated July 24, 2015