April 2023

Welcome to the Planscape newsletter! Planscape is a decision support tool to maximize wildfire resilience and ecological benefits. This tool brings together the best available state and federal data and science to help regional planners prioritize landscape treatments. Planscape is a collaborative effort by the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) and the USDA Forest Service, with support from Google.org, and now the Spatial Informatics Group (SIG). 

Read on for detailed updates on product development for Planscape, what’s coming up next, and how to get involved.  

For questions, please reach out to planscape@resources.ca.gov.  

Planscape: Explore Coming Soon! 

We are learning a lot from early testers of Planscape. The Explore section of the tool, which allows users to visualize data from the Regional Resource Kits, is being tested as we conduct numerous product demonstrations weekly. If your organization is interested in becoming a tester, or would like a demonstration from one of our teams, please sign up at Planscape.org or email planscape@resources.ca.gov. 

We are aiming to release Planscape: Explore publicly for the Sierra Nevada region by end of May 2023! Other regions will be added swiftly as the RRKs are completed and integrated into Planscape. 

Latest User Feedback 

We have gathered a lot of feedback from users and potential users of Planscape. One user journey within the Planscape tool, called Explore, has been undergoing early testing since late January. Testers have provided extensive feedback on their experiences and have been critical in identifying issues and bugs, as well as key features that would improve the value of the tool in their work. 

The Planscape team has also presented and demoed the tool in a broad range of stakeholder forums, further expanding exposure and feedback to the tool. The feedback from testers and stakeholders falls into three broad categories: 

Thank you to all users and research participants for all your input.  We have already adapted the product to much of the feedback and are committed being responsive to make Planscape even more useful. 


Introducing SIG to Planscape 

When Google.org kicked off the Planscape Fellowship with CNRA, the U.S. Forest Service and others, one of the goals was to find a team to take Planscape to the next level and ensure continued support after the initial Google investment came to an end.  We’re delighted to share we’ve found that team! CNRA has appointed the Spatial Informatics Group (SIG) as the ideal group to take Planscape forward. The Fellowship, however, is not ending.  Google.org will provide a third cohort of Google Fellows up to at least September 2023 the two teams will work together during that time. 

Since 1998, SIG has built a professional services company with domain expertise in environmental software development, GIS-based ecological data, and advanced science-based modeling. Plus, SIG is a certified Google Cloud Partner focused on Earth Engine and Data Science to impact and develop the ‘green economy. With a deep history supporting Google.org initiatives and integrating spatial analysis with substantive research, SIG’s team offers an integrative analytical approach., They combine spatial analysis with scientific, ecological and economic knowledge to understand the cumulative effects of management choices on the short- and long-term stability of natural resources and ecosystem functions. 

We are excited for the future of Planscape with SIG’s domain expertise and skills! 

Wildfire Taskforce Meeting in Sacramento - March 30 Recap 

The Google Fellows and SIG teams traveled to Sacramento on March 30 to attend the latest meeting of the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force. First up, Pat Manley from the Forest Service talked about metrics and the Regional Resource Kits (RRKs). Then David Saah from SIG and Mickey Kataria from Google.org provided a presentation about Planscape and how it fits into the broader ecosystem. 

This presentation included the first live demonstration of the Planscape tool in this forum, attended by the Executive Committee -- – led by Wade Crowfoot, Jennifer Eberlien and Patrick Wright -- – and hundreds of participants in-person and virtual.   

Watch the presentation here, that included this snapshot of a live demo in action.

Please contact planscape@resources.ca.gov if you’re interested in contributing, collaborating or simply learning more. If you work for an organization and would like to arrange a demo for your group, we’d love to hear from you. 

Thank you for your interest and partnership,  

The Planscape Team  

As a reminder, you’re receiving this because you are a valued stakeholder in this work between CNRA and the USDA Forest Service. The goal of the newsletters is to provide you with relevant updates & highlights, product milestones and ways to get involved.   For any questions please reach out to planscape@resources.ca.gov. 

CNRA, 715 P St., Sacramento, CA 95814, USA

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