The U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program, the nation’s forest census, collects and analyzes data on America’s forests. FIA produces yearly reports at the state level on:
- Status and trends in forest area and location;
- Species, size, and health of trees;
- Total tree growth, mortality, and removals by harvest and land-use change;
- Wood production and utilization rates by various products; and
- Forest land ownership.
State foresters and industry analysts use the information to make policy or investment decisions. For many years, FIA annual reports were printed; in the last few years, they’ve been made available online as PDFs. Now, FIA is excited to make annual reports available as story maps that provide important information about forests at the state level in an interactive format that’s attractive and accessible to a much wider audience.
Story maps are web-based resources that – as the title suggests – lead a viewer through a narrative using an interface that can combine maps, text, videos, photos, and other media. Though the story itself may be linear, dynamic GIS-based map layers add multiple dimensions, allowing users to interactively find information for the locations they’re most interested in.
The Forest Inventory Analysis Annual Reporting website currently includes the latest FIA annual reports for 10 states from across the conterminous U.S.; more will come online as they become available. Developed by a team led by Chris Oswalt, research forester with the Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) FIA unit, the new annual report website is the latest in a series of story map products developed to tell stories grounded in forest inventory data and the science of Forest Service Research and Development.
For more information, email Chris Oswalt at email@example.com.