Natural Flow Regimes of the Ozark-Ouachita Interior Highlands Region

Role of Geodata Crawler:
Geodata Crawler was originally developed to collect data for studies of beetle ecology that included the endangered American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) and the Sulphur Springs diving beetle (Heterosternuta sulphuria). It was soon realized that the tool could be applied to research in hydrology, landscape genetics, and other fields. New applications of this tool continue to be explored for research in water quality assessment, climate change, species distribution modeling, population viability assessment, eco-hydrology, environmental DNA, long-term ecological monitoring, and others.

Geodata Crawler Fact Sheet

Leasure DR. 2014. Geodata Crawler: A centralized national geodatabase and automated multi-scale data crawler. In Applications of a New Geodata Crawler for Landscape Ecology: From Mapping Natural Stream Hydrology to Monitoring Endangered Beetles. PhD Dissertation. University of Arkansas: Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. 215 pp.

Leasure DR. 2014. Applications of a New Geodata Crawler for Landscape Ecology: From Mapping Natural Stream Hydrology to Monitoring Endangered Beetles. PhD Dissertation. University of Arkansas: Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. 215 pp.

Faculty and facilities at the University of Arkansas and the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) were instrumental in the success of Geodata Crawler. Key support came from Jason Tullis, Gary Huxel, and Dan Magoulick.

Contribution to Education:
Geodata Crawler has contributed to education in a multitude of ways:
Undergraduate honors theses in biology and statistics (University of Arkansas)
Projects in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program (REU)
Theses for M.S. in biology (University of Arkansas), M.S. in ecology (University of Georgia), and M.S. in entomology (Oklahoma State University)
Dissertations for Ph.D. in biology (University of Arkansas) and Ph.D. in ecology (University of Georgia)
A teaching tool for spatial analysis projects in a graduate-level Agricultural Compounds class (Texas Tech University)

There is now an unprecedented availability of GIS and remote sensing data that provides a powerful new tool for scientific research, but it is often difficult to acquire and process these data to generate tabular datasets that quantify landscapes at specific research sites using appropriate spatial scales for the questions being investigated. This can limit the number of sample locations and the variety of GIS data and spatial scales included in studies, and it may even prevent some researchers from utilizing GIS resources at all. Geodata Crawler contains a centralized national geodatabase with dozens of ecologically-relevant datasets including land cover types, soils, climate characteristics, hydrology, and human populations. The automated multi-scale data crawler delineates customized sample areas for user-locations anywhere in the continental United States and tabulates summary statistics from national geodatabases within those sample areas. Six spatial scales are available for delineating sample areas: point, local, watershed, riparian, local-watershed, and local-riparian. User options allow customization of these spatial scales by adjusting, for example, the site radius used by the local scale, or the stream buffer size used by the riparian scale. Geodata Crawler output includes 1) a project-specific geodatabase with all GIS layers required to collect user-requested data, 2) polygons representing sample areas delineated at each site, and 3) tabular data appropriate for most statistical analyses. Geodata Crawler can run on a single local machine or on a server allowing remote access by multiple users. Several time-saving features are available that include simultaneous processing of multiple projects on multiple processing cores, data archiving for rapid retrieval by other projects, and simultaneous processing of subsets of user-locations from a single project. Future directions for the Geodata Crawler project are discussed including web-based project submission and cluster computing.

Professional Presentations:
2014 American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
2013 Ecological Society of American Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2013 American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Little Rock, Arkansas
2014 Guest Lecture, Conservation Biology, University of Arkansas--Fort Smith, Fort Smith, Arkansas
2012 Entomological Society of American Annual Meeting, Knoxville, Tennessee
2012 The Wildlife Society Arkansas Chapter Annual Meeting, Fayetteville, Arkansas