OakMapper began in 2001 at UC Berkeley with support from the California Department of Forestry and the Forest Service, and in collaboration with the California Oak Mortality Task Force. The inspiration for the original site was the USGS Earthquake Mapper site, where participants can report a shake in their neighborhood. This seemed like a great idea for Sudden Oak Death, since so many people are out and about in California forests everyday. The goal has always been to keep data standards clear: confirmations of P. ramorum that come from the California Department of Food and Agriculture or the University of California are coded as "official" and their respective GPS locations are mapped in red; community-submitted sightings of trees suspected of having Sudden Oak Death are coded as "community-submitted" and we map them here in orange. There are many factors that can cause an oak tree to die, the only way to be sure an oak has SOD is to have it sampled, and the sample tested by an official lab and P. ramorum confirmed in the sample. At OakMapper, we are interested in capturing both types of data: official and community-submitted to get a broader understanding of oak health across the state.
Phytophthora ramorum is the cause of both Sudden Oak Death, a forest disease that has resulted in widespread dieback of several tree species in California and Oregon forests, and Ramorum blight, which affects the leaves and twigs of numerous other plants in forests and nurseries. For complete disease information visit the California Oak Mortality Task Force's website.
If you use the data from OakMapper, please cite the following papers:
- Kelly, M., K. A. Tuxen, and F. R. Kearns. 2004. Geospatial informatics for management of a new forest disease: Sudden Oak Death. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing 70(9): 1001-1004
- Kelly, N. M., and K. Tuxen. 2003. WebGIS for sudden oak in coastal California. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 27(5): 527-547