EDDMapS is a web-based mapping system for documenting invasive species distribution. It is fast, easy to use and doesn't require Geographic Information Systems experience. Launched in 2005 by the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia, it was originally designed as a tool for state Exotic Pest Plant Councils to develop more complete distribution data of invasive species.
EDDMapS goal is to maximize the effectiveness and accessibility of the immense numbers of invasive species observations recorded each year. As of September 2014, EDDMapS has over 2.6 million records.
EDDMapS combines data from other databases and organizations as well as volunteer observations to create a national network of invasive species distribution data that is shared with educators, land managers, conservation biologists, and beyond. This data will become the foundation for a better understanding of invasive species distribution around the world.
Why do we care?
The biological pollution caused by invasive species is extremely challenging, because even if we never import another non-native species, the ones already invading our native ecosystems will continue to grow and spread. We must actively seek solutions to control or eradicate the species which are problems already or have the potential to become problems.
How does it work?
EDDMapS documents the presence of invasive species. A simple, interactive Web interface engages participants to submit their observations or view results through interactive queries into the EDDMapS database. EDDMapS encourages users to participate by providing Internet tools that maintain their personal records and enable them to visualize data with interactive maps.
Users simply enter information from their observations into the standardized on-line data form, which allows specific information about the infestation and images to be added. Data entered is immediately loaded to the Website, allowing real time tracking of species. Being able to see the current data of a species as it moves into a new area helps to facilitate Early Detection and Rapid Response programs (EDRR). EDRR programs help stop or control an invasive species before it becomes an unmanageable problem.
All data is reviewed by state verifiers to ensure all data is accurate. The data is made freely available to scientists, researchers, land managers, land owners, educators, conservationists, ecologists, farmers, foresters, state and national parks.