Why should I report data to EDDMapS?
A key component in an invasive species Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) program is the development of species distribution maps. Entering and tracking locations of invasives within and between states can identify the "leading edge" of invasive plants heading our way. This gives each of us a chance to implement Early Detection and Rapid Response programs in our area. These EDRR programs allow us to stop or minimize an invasive plant before it becomes a "kudzu" kind of problem and allows land managers and agencies to prioritize control needs and strategies while populations are still small.
The Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System, or EDDMapS, is a web-based mapping system for invasive species distribution that is fast and easy to use and doesn't require GIS experience or software. Using standardized on-line data forms, you can add specific information about the infestation and images to the EDDMapS database. This database aggregates data from other mapping projects and cooperators to display invasive species distribution at county, state and national level scales.
Gathering the information is as simple as taking pictures of the invasive plant and noting the location. Location information can be determined by taking the GPS coordinates on-site, or by using the EDDMapS on-line map functions to locate the point of the infestation.
You can keep track of your personal observations on EDDMapS. This provides you an easy way to look at your observations and keep records for your personal use. And can help you answer questions about species you saw and when and where you saw them.
EDDMapS can also be used as a tool to document and follow treatment programs. By keeping track of an infestation site that has been treated you can find it again and ensure the site has been successfully eliminated or see that it needs treated again.