At the core of GeoMaster is the patch layer. This layer is a 2 dimensional layer of polygons (called in GeoMaster, “patches”) covering the entire forest / land area. Hence the “patch” is the smallest unit of land recognised by GeoMaster. Patches fall into three land classes: non-productive; planted; and potentially plantable bare land (ie. the landbank).

So how do foresters generally work with the Patch Layer?

As a forester planning and carrying out operations you are selecting stands to report on, add events, or produce maps. In this manner you will use the GeoMaster toolbar to help navigate around in ArcMap. Generally you will want the Patch Layer Selectable (this is active when the icon shown below has the small “blue” selection present in the icon, and the patch or stand selection mode icons are enabled and not greyed out). Typically you will want to report on stands, or add events to stands, so we would recommend that most users will just want to use the “Stand Selection Mode”. In this mode if you select any stocked patch, the whole stand will be selected that belongs to the patch as shown in Figure 2, which is useful when planning or recording operations. To make your selection use the normal ArcMap Selection tool or the one shown in the GeoMaster toolbar.


Figure 1 Selection toolbar icons for a typical general user (some of these functions are disabled if GeoMaster is not connected)

Use of the “Patch Selection Mode” is typically for selection of patches which are non-stocked, unproductive, or when wanting to select just a single patch within a stand as being treated.

USER TIP: Change the way selected features are shown: Many users find the “blue highlight” of a selected patch often hard to see, and the ATLAS layer file has a Symbology available to help users change this to something more useful. In this case right click on the Patch Layer > then go to the Selection Tab (Figure 2). Change the symbol to the ATLAS “Selected” symbol which is a red bounded diagonal hash which is often more user friendly (Figure 1). Remember to save the ArcMap project so this new setting is kept (Ctrl+S).


082614_1140_workingwith2Figure 2 By selecting just one of patchs in this map, all 4 patches became selected for the entire stand with the Stand Selection Mode ON (also note that using the selection tool Default Symbol in ArcMap vs the ATLAS “Selected” symbol as “Red Hashed Areas”)


082614_1140_workingwith3Figure 2 selecting the default patch layer selected area Symbology.

Remember when GeoMaster is connected with ArcMap, by selecting a patch it will be selected and displayed also in GeoMaster.   With “Stand Selection Mode” all patches in that stand will be selected in the Forest View, just as they are in ArcMap (Figure 3).
geomaster_standselectionmodeFigure 3 selected stand and also selection shown in GeoMaster forest view. 

USER TIP: In “Stand Selection Mode” if you click on a unstocked patch then you will be prompted that GeoMaster is “Unable to find stand in GeoMaster for GIS patch with LinkKey #”, which is ofcourse expected.

So what about GIS editors who are editing the GIS data layers, how do they typically use the Patch Layer Selection tools?

There are a couple more toolbar icons useful if you are remapping or creating GIS managed events (Figure 4). The first being to prepare the patch layer for editing (emulates just putting the patch layer in edit mode in ArcMap).


082614_1140_workingwith4Figure 4 additional patch selection tools

Once you activate the patch layer for editing by selecting the button icon you will notice the ArcMap editor toolbar becomes active and appears in edit mode (Figure 5).


082614_1140_workingwith5Figure 5 activating the ArcMap edit function toolbar when selecting to make the patch layer editable.

Use of the “Select Patches Touching Selected Polygons” is for adding GIS managed events or during map editing.  We will cover this more in another blog post.

GeoMaster is a core product in our Cloud based Forest Management System. For more information feel free to contact our team.