Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to create an account to enter data into EDDMapS?
Answer: All data entered into EDDMapS is checked by a local or state expert to verify that the data is accurate. The person verifying information needs to be able to contact the person who submitted the information if they have any questions. For example, if I enter GPS coordinates for an invasive plant and the point is showing up somewhere in China...the verifier will contact me to see if I have just returned from China or if perhaps I forgot to enter the (-) before the longitude 083.23645. For the United States the negative sign will always be in front of the number, like -083.23645.
I forgot my account sign in and password. How do I find it?
Answer: Go to the sign in page and click on Lost your password? Your user name and password will be emailed to you right away.
I changed my email account or I want to use a different email account for EDDMapS. How do I do that?
Answer: Sign in to your EDDMapS account. Click on 'My EDDMapS'. Under 'Your Data', click on 'Edit My Profile'. This takes you to your profile page. You can update or change any of your profile information here. When you are finished making changes, remember to click 'Update Profile' at the bottom of the page.
I am trying to enter information and I keep getting an error message. What do I do?
Answer: One of the most common errors is the Observation Date. If you hold your mouse over the little question mark beside the space for the date, a box will pop up telling you the correct format for the date. The correct format is mm/dd/yyyy, so March 12, 2010 would be entered as 03/12/2010. Note: Spend a little time exploring the online entry form. There are several places with a (?). Each one pops up a box which explains more about that entry.
How do I decide if the patch type is point, linear or polygon?
Answer: Linear is easy. Invasive plants following a road, river, creek or fence line would be a linear patch. Point usually means one plant or a small patch. One chinaberry tree would be a point. A small patch of a bunch grass like cogongrass would be a point. Polygon covers everything else. A polygon is a shape with three or more sides. So, a group of three chinaberry trees or a field with patches of cogongrass scattered over it, would be a polygon.
Infested Area and Gross Area are confusing, what is the difference?
Answer: I will answer this with an example. You are looking at a field and there are three big patches of Chinese privet in the field. They don't cover the whole field, just part of it. The whole field is an acre of land. So the whole field is the gross area, in this case one acre. The privet is in three big patches scattered around the field. If you clumped them all together they would cover about a third of the field or .33 acres, this would be the infested area. There are methods for getting exact measurements for these areas, but we just need your best estimate. An acre is about 43,560 square feet. A football field is about 48,000 square feet (without end zones). Use things you are familiar with to help you judge the size of an infestation.
Why is the size and canopy closure of the infestation important?
Answer: Many different people will look at the data you provide. A researcher may need to know which plant species have been found in an area. Land managers will need to know where a certain plant species was found and how big the infestation is, so they can make effective management plans for controlling the infestation. A land owner needs to know how much land is infested and with which invasive plants if they apply for a grant to help with eradication efforts.
I would like to enter data into EDDMapS, but how do I learn more about which invasive plants to look for?
Answer: Go to http://www.invasive.org/. You can access information on invasive plant and animal species by clicking on the 'Species' link at the top of the page or by clicking on the links labeled 'Plants', 'Insects', 'Pathogens' or 'Other Species'. You can also scroll down the home page a little to the link to 'Invasive Plant Atlas of the U.S.' or the link to 'Invasive Plants of the United States: Identification, Biology and Control'. There are additional links leading to more information at each of these links. You will find information on the invasive species, pictures of the invasive species (the more pictures of an invasive species you see, the easier it will be for you to identify the invasive when you see the real thing), maps where the invasive has been found already, ways to control it and areas where it has been listed as invasive or noxious.
Each area has invasive species of special concern. Check with the group in your area for the species important to watch for there. The list of invasive species may vary from region to region. Check with your state Exotic Pest Plant Council, county extension agent or state forester for the species important to watch for in your region.
Contact us for more information or any further questions you may have
Chuck Bargeron - Technology Director
Karan Rawlins - Invasive Species Coordinator
Rebekah Wallace - EDDMapS Data Coordinator