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:
On the positive side, users are excited about what the tool offers and how easy it is to use. It’s encouraging that users are finding it easier to explore the map and to compare/contrast different conditions. In fact, we have had some users share that the Explore journey is already saving them a substantial amount of time by bringing together datasets, allowing them to curate their plans in one place.
Users are asking about adding more data options and layers into the tool, over and above what exists now. In some instances, there may be more authoritative data sets such as road data.
Explaining the Science
It’s been asked if more helpful tips could be offered throughout the tool, to explain what is meant by certain terms, or what is behind certain data sets. We could provide help content or more detailed hover/information about the datasets and meaning of color ramps, scaling and more.
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.