Managing forest information and operational events in GeoMaster is empowered by the link to ArcMap GIS. This means spatially all land be it productive, or non-productive can have detailed record keeping and more importantly a history. The core to this in GeoMaster is the “Patch Layer”. The patch layer is a quilt-network of seamless polygons in two dimensions covering your entire land management area, and it is the smallest patch of ground managed by GeoMaster. A recent query by one of our users is how to manage this patch layer when a mistake is made, being that you want to delete a patch and how does this impact on maintaining history for that patch of ground. To understand this we thought we would touch briefly on workflows relating disestablishing, deactivating and deleting areas in GeoMaster and why you would use each scenario.









Figure 1 – The GIS layers making up a GeoMaster geodatabase (more info here), and the workflow of managing a patch.

Disestablishing a Stand or Patch

Disestablishing a Stand or Patch occurs when all or part of a stand has been clearfelled and the land is ready for the next rotation to begin, and is the typical lifecycle of a patch of ground which is cropped.

1.    Select Events>Disestablish in either GeoMaster or GIS

2.     Enter a date from which disestablishment takes effect (this must be later than clearfell date)

3.     Enter note if required and save changes.

The selected unstocked patches are then sent to the Landbank and are available for allocation to a new stand. When the last patch of a stand has been disestablished, the stand is also disestablished.

Note: The system will not allow you to finish a clearfelling event and disestablish on the same date.

Deactivating a Patch

Patches of land can be deactivated or “hidden from view” using Patch Deactivate. This function can be used when areas of land are removed from the estate (e.g. sold). By winding the display date back prior to the deactivation date, the records can still be viewed and hence all the history is not lost and can be referred to at a later date.

In addition to the Patch Layer, the GeoMaster-GIS link uses an Archive Layer. Patches that are deactivated are copied to the Archive Layer prior to being removed from the Patch Layer. This enables information about deactivated patches to be retained, and enables deactivate events to be undone.

To deactivate a Patch open Arc Map, connect to GeoMaster and also load the Archive layer (if not present) select the Patch(es) you wish to deactivate (could be whole stands). Under the GeoMaster dropdown list select Events>Deactivate.100714_2142_disestablis2


Enter in the date you wish the deactivation to commence from along with a brief note for the deactivation. Click the red tick.


You will notice the patch has been removed from the Patch Layer and added to the Archive Layer.100714_2142_disestablis4

If you roll GeoMaster back in time to before the area was deactivated the patch(es) will re-appear, enabling information about deactivated patches to be retained such as crop, events etc., and enables deactivate events to be undone.

Deleting Areas from GeoMaster

Patches and stands should only be deleted if they have been created in error or because they contain so many errors that you want to re-enter the information. In the normal life of a stand, it should be disestablished to make the land available for replanting. Or, for example if sold it should be destabilised. In this way, all information about that stand is retained in the database.

When deleting a stand, patches of that stand are moved to the landbank (unless the patches have already been deleted).

When deleting a patch, all events associated with the patch are automatically removed from that patch. If the events are not associated with any other patches then they will be deleted as well. This is different from deactivate where information is retained and just hidden from view.

To delete a patch:

  1. First step is to disable the GIS link. In GeoMaster click File>Configuration and untick the box next to GIS Linked.


  2. Highlight the patch(es) in the Forest Structure Display you wish to delete. Select Edit>Delete from the main menu, or select from the right mouse-button menu. To delete a number of selected patches use the Edit>Delete selected… command. and choose “patches”.

100714_2142_disestablis5Disable the GIS Link


100714_2142_disestablis6Select the Patch to Delete

Click OK to confirm the delete


100714_2142_disestablis7Under File>Configuration re-tick the GIS Linked box.

In ArcGIS on the ATLAS Toolbar click GeoMaster>Utilities>Update Patch Records. The polygon representing the patch you just deleted would have turned grey indicating no link with GeoMaster. You can then start editing the Patch Layer to delete the polygon from the Patch Layer.100714_2142_disestablis8

The same method is used to delete a stand; although you do not need to disable the GIS link.

  1. Select the Stand you wish to delete. Right click on the stand and select Delete Stand.100714_2142_disestablis9

If the stand contains patches these will be removed from the stand and transferred to the Landbank.100714_2142_disestablis10


From here the Patch could be deleted, a new stand created or the area changed to non-productive.

100714_2142_disestablis11GeoMaster currently allows a forest or compartment to be deleted only if all area items within it have been deleted i.e. no stands or patches exist. To delete a compartment in GeoMaster right click on the compartment and select delete. Likewise to delete a forest.


When any item is deleted, all records associated with it are removed from the database and cannot be retrieved by winding back the clock.

Our team of can assist you in completing these tasks and can even login your session and walk you through the first time you do it. If you need further assistance please contact us.