GeoCAT is presently in beta. As GeoCAT is updated there may be a short delay in updating the FAQ, help and screencasts.
The tool provides a quick and easy way use information on the distribution of a species to help inform a conservation assessment.
See the introductory screencast on how to get started or follow the help notes below:
You can now add data to your map, analyse the distribution and determine a geographic range based conservation assessment.
There are three ways in which you can add data:
You can search existing online sources of occurrence data. At present the tool can search the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and Flickr, an online repository for images.
If you have your own occurrence data in a spreadsheet or database you can import this directly. In order to upload your own data you will need to create a .CSV file. For more information on how to do this see the FAQ page.
If you have knowledge on the distribution of a species then you may want to add points directly to the map.
Click the 'Help button' on the top right of the viewer to see what the various map tools do.
Pointer, Marquee, Add points, Delete points and Manage layers.
Download and Save buttons.
The tool uses the familiar Google Maps world base map with Terrain, Roadmap, Satellite and Hybrid options.
Go to search box.
If you wish to zoom to a specific location you can use the 'go to' search box. Simply add your location e.g. London and press Return/Enter or click the search button. You can also enter latitude and longitude co-ordinate pairs (e.g. 51 29' 07" N, 0 17' 30" W or 51.48528 -0.291667) directly into the search box.
To quickly zoom in and out of the map you can use the zoom bar on the left hand side of the screen. You can also zoom with a double click on the left mouse button.
With your points on the map it is now possible to carry out an analysis of the geographic range of your species.
The default status is for the analysis to be disabled:
To enable the analysis click the grey square to the left of the x. The analysis is now enabled:
The analysis reports the two area values extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) as well as the potential corresponding Red List Category, in this case Least Concern (LC) and Endangered (EN). For the AOO value the cell width is also reported, in this case a 2 km cell width was used.
The analysis graphics.
The example above shows a species distribution represented by eight points. The satellite map underlay has been used to help illustrate the forest cover. The shaded area between the points, within a black line, represents the extent of occurrence (EOO) (based on a convex hull) and the red grid cells represent the area of occupancy (AOO).
For more information on these values please see the Analysis section of the FAQ.
To record your findings there is an option to create a report. Click on 'Print complete report' and your results will be displayed in an HTML page with a map. The page can be printed or saved as a PDF if you have the appropriate software. Note that the map in the report is still under development.
You can save your data by clicking the green 'save project' button at the bottom of the page. This will create an .GeoCAT file which retains all the information about the analysis you have been working on including the points added and even the zoom level of the map. Depending on the browser you are using you will either be asked for a location in which to save the file or it will automatically save to your designated 'downloads' folder. If you are not sure where the file saved you can carry out a search for the .GeoCAT extension.
The download/save options
If you click the 'Close tool' button in the top right hand corner of the window and you have not saved your work you will be reminded and given the option to save your project:
If you exit without clicking 'Close tool' you will lose your work.
To reload your project you can upload your .GeoCAT/.RLA file in two ways:
1. From the front page
Click the 'Import a .GeoCAT/.RLA file' button and browse to your previously saved file. Click on the file and it will restore the project.
2. From the sources menu
Another way (also a good way to merge two or more datasets) is to add your .GeoCAT file via the sources menu. Click on 'Add new source' and select 'Import .GeoCAT, .CSV'. Browse to the file and select it. The file will be added to the source menu and by clicking the 'import' button the project will be restored.
The occurrence data will be included as part of the .GeoCAT file, however you may want to download this separately. Click the 'Download data' button, choose one of the two options to save the occurrence data:
You can download the points in your map as a .CSV file that can be opened in may packages e.g. Microsoft Excel. Just click the 'Download CSV' option.
By clicking the 'Download KML' option you can view your data in other packages such as Google Earth. The .KML file also includes the analysis graphics (if analysis has been enabled) as well as the analysis results.
A standard set of data layers are available to add to the map to aid your analysis. For more information on example layers see the layers page.
How to use layers:
Click the layers button to open the layers window.
Click 'Add' to activate a layer.