image credit: USGS
This just in: The US Geological Service (USGS) has released a fancy new Land Cover Vegetation Map of the United States. The map geeks have already left to go check that out, but for the rest of you, I'll explain: They've compiled insane amounts of data on 551 categories of ecological systems and detailed exactly what is growing all over this great nation of ours.
Thanks to their efforts, I now know that a ravine near my house is made up of Mediterranean California Foothill and Lower Montane Riparian Woodland, along with a little California Coastal Redwood Forest, bits of Introduced Upland Vegetation–Treed, some California Coastal Woodland Live Oak and Savanna, and a little North Pacific Hypermaritime Sitka Spruce Forest. Oh, and a little Introduced Upland Vegetation–Annual Grassland (that may be the softball field next to the ravine.)
This is all very cool (and serves a useful purpose: to track the migration — or lack thereof — of species and ecosystems over time), but what I want to know is: Where's the iPhone app? How cool would it be to have your telephone informing you every time you enter a North Pacific Hypermaritime Sitka Spruce Forest?
I've written to USGS to ask where my app's at. I'll keep you posted.Amy Stewart on June 16, 2010 at 5:38 am, in the category Unusually Clever People.