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Resource Information:

Australia - Estimated Pre1750 Major Vegetation Groups - NVIS Version 4.1 (Albers 100m analysis product)

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Creation Date: 20120706
Revision Date: 20120712
Presentation format: digital table
Unique resource identifier:

Party responsible for the resource:
Organisation's name: Australian Government Department of the Environment
Contact's position: Vegetation Data Manager
Contact's role: custodian
Contact information:
Phone:
Voice: 02 6274 1111
Fax: 02 6274 1666
Address:
Delivery point:
GPO Box 787
City: Canberra
Administrative area: ACT
Postal code: 2601
Country: Australia
e-mail address: vegetation.metadata@environment.gov.au

Party responsible for the resource:
Organisation's name: Australian Government Department of the Environment
Contact's position: Metadata Publisher
Contact's role: publisher
Contact information:
Phone:
Voice: (02) 6274 1111
Fax: (02) 6274 1333
Address:
Delivery point:
GPO Box 787
City: CANBERRA
Administrative area: ACT
Postal code: 2601
Country: Australia
e-mail address: metadata@environment.gov.au

Themes or categories of the resource: biota
Theme keywords:
FLORA Native_Mapping
FORESTS Natural_Mapping
LAND Cover_Mapping
VEGETATION_Mapping
VEGETATION_Classification
Thesaurus name:
Title: ANZLIC Search Words

Abstract:
This raster dataset 'NVIS4_1_AUST_MVG_PRE_ALB' provides summary information on Australia's estimated Pre-1750 (pre-European or pre-clearing) native vegetation. It is in Albers Equal Area projection with a 100 m x 100 m (1 Ha) cell size.

A comparable Extant raster dataset is available:
- NVIS4_1_AUST_MVG_EXT_ALB.

State and Territory vegetation mapping agencies supplied a new version of the National Vegetation Information System (NVIS) in 2009-2011. Some agencies did not supply new data for this version but approved re-use of Version 3.1 data. Summaries were derived from the best available data in the NVIS extant theme as at June 2012.

This product is derived from a compilation of data collected at different scales on different dates by different organisations/sources. Please refer to the separate key map showing scales of the input datasets. Gaps in the NVIS database were filled by non-NVIS data.

Major Vegetation Groups were identified to summarise the type and distribution of Australia's native vegetation before European settlement. The classification contains different mixes of plant species within the canopy, shrub or ground layers, but are structurally similar and are often dominated by a single genus. In a mapping sense, the groups reflect the dominant vegetation occurring in a map unit from a mix of several vegetation types. Subdominant vegetation groups which are also present in the map unit are not shown. For example, the dominant vegetation in an area may be mapped as dominated by eucalypt open forest, although it contains pockets of rainforest, shrubland and grassland vegetation as subdominants.

The (related) Major Vegetation Subgroups represent more detailed subdominant vegetation groups within Major Vegetation Groups and are available as separate raster datasets:
- NVIS4_1_AUST_MVS_EXT_ALB
- NVIS4_1_AUST_MVS_PRE_ALB

A number of other non-vegetation and non-native vegetation land cover types are also represented as Major Vegetation Groups. These are provided for cartographic purposes, but should not be used for analyses.

For further background and other NVIS products, please see the links on http://www.environment.gov.au/erin/nvis/index.html.

Dataset language: English
Dataset character set: utf8 - 8 bit UCS Transfer Format
Update Status: completed
Maintenance:
Update frequency: as needed

Resource constraints:
Access constraints:
Any use of the data in publications should acknowledge the State/Territory data custodians and Department of the Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), Australian Government - see Source Data.
Limitations of use:
Users should be aware that MVGs were derived from data at a range of dates, scales and reliabilities.

This version was based on improved NVIS data from each State and Territory. Collection scale, more-detailed vegetation floristic and structural data and/or more-consistent interpretations have been improved for many parts of Australia. Therefore, it would not be valid to compare this version quantitatively with earlier version(s) of NVIS.

Non-vegetation and non-native vegetation major vegetation classes are not to be used in quantitative analyses.

Disclaimers:

ACT: This data in based on data provided by Environment ACT, part of the ACT Government and the Department of Urban Services (now the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate). It does not represent official ACT Government data.

QLD: While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the Information Product, the Environmental Protection Agency makes no representation or warranties about its accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose and disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damage) and costs which you might incur as a result of the product being inaccurate or incomplete in any way and for any reason.

VIC: The State of Victoria does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of information in this publication and any person using or relying upon such information does so on the basis that the State of Victoria shall bear no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any errors, faults, defects or omissions in the information.

Spatial representation type: grid
Resource format:
Format name: SDE Raster Dataset
Format version: 1
Spatial resolution:
Ground sample distance:
Precision of spatial data: 100
Units of measure, scale:
Units: Meters
Conversion to metric: Meters = 1 m
Resource's bounding rectangle:
Extent type: Full extent in decimal degrees
Extent contains the resource: Yes
West longitude: 112
East longitude: 154
North latitude: -9
South latitude: -44

Supplemental information:
published externally

Point of contact:
Organisation's name: Australian Government Department of the Environment
Contact's position: Vegetation Data Manager
Contact's role: point of contact
Contact information:
Phone:
Voice: 02 6274 1111
Fax: 02 6274 1666
Address:
Delivery point:
GPO Box 787
City: Canberra
Administrative area: ACT
Postal code: 2601
Country: Australia
e-mail address: vegetation.metadata@environment.gov.au

Reference System Information:

Reference system identifier:
Value:

Data Quality Information:

Scope of quality information: dataset

Lineage:
The input vegetation data were provided from over 100 individual projects representing the majority of Australia's regional vegetation mapping over the last 50 years. State and Territory custodians translated the vegetation descriptions from these datasets into a common attribute framework, the National Vegetation Information System (ESCAVI, 2003). Scales of input mapping ranged from 1:25,000 to 1:5,000,000. These were combined into an Australia-wide set of vector data. Non-terrestrial areas were mostly removed by the State and Territory custodians before supplying the data to the Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN), Department of Sustainability Environment Water Population and Communities (DSEWPaC).

Each NVIS vegetation description was written to the NVIS XML format file by the custodian, transferred to ERIN and loaded into the NVIS database at ERIN. A considerable number of quality checks were performed automatically by this system to ensure conformity to the NVIS attribute standards (ESCAVI, 2003) and consistency between levels of the NVIS Information Hierarchy within each description. Descriptions for non-vegetation and non-native vegetation mapping codes were transferred via CSV files.

The NVIS vector (polygon) data for Australia comprised a series of jig-saw pieces, each up to approx 500,000 polygons - the maximum tractable size for routine geoprocesssing. The spatial data was processed to conform to the NVIS spatial format (ESCAVI, 2003; other papers). Spatial processing and attribute additions were done mostly in ESRI File Geodatabases. Topology and minor geometric corrections were also performed at this stage. These datasets were then loaded into ESRI Spatial Database Engine as per the ERIN standard. NVIS attributes were then populated using database tables provided by custodians, mostly using PL/SQL Developer or in ArcGIS using the field calculator (where simple).

Each spatial dataset was joined to and checked against a lookup table for the relevant State/Territory to ensure that all mapping codes in the dominant vegetation type of each polygon (NVISDSC1) had a valid lookup description, including an allocated MVG. Minor vegetation components of each map unit (NVISDSC2-6) were not checked, but could be considered mostly complete.

Each NVIS vegetation description was allocated to a Major Vegetation Group (MVG) by manual interpretation at ERIN. The Australian Natural Resources Atlas (http://www.anra.gov.au/topics/vegetation/pubs/native_vegetation/vegfsheet.html) provides detailed descriptions of most Major Vegetation Groups. Three new MVGs were created for version 4.1 to better represent open woodland formations and forests (in the NT) with no further data available. NVIS vegetation descriptions were reallocated into these classes, if appropriate:
- Unclassified Forest
- Other Open Woodlands
- Mallee Open Woodlands and Sparse Mallee Shublands
(Thus there are a total of 33 MVGs existing as at June 2012). Data values defined as cleared or non-native by data custodians were attributed specific MVG values such as 25 - Cleared or non native, 27 - naturally bare, 28 - seas & estuaries, and 99 - Unknown. Note: some of these MVGs are only present in Extant vegetation.

As part of the process to fill gaps in NVIS, the descriptive data from non-NVIS sources was also stored in the NVIS database, but with blank vegetation descriptions. In general. the gap-fill data comprised (a) fine scale (1:250K or better) State/Territory vegetation maps for which NVIS descriptions were unavailable and (b) coarse-scale (1:1M and 1:5M) maps from Commonwealth and other sources. MVGs were then allocated to each description from the available descriptions in accompanying publications and other sources.

Each spatial dataset with joined lookup table (including MVG_NUMBER linked via NVISDSC1) was exported to a File Geodatabase as a feature class. These were reprojected into Albers Equal Area projection (Central_Meridian: 132.000000, Standard_Parallel_1: -18.000000, Standard_Parallel_2: -36.000000, Linear Unit: Meter (1.000000), Datum GDA94, other parameters 0).

In the original extant data, parts of New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT have areas of vector "NoData", thus appearing as an inland sea. Where there were gaps in the spatial coverage of Australia, "artificial" estimated pre-1750 layers were created from datasets available to the ERIN NVIS Team. These were managed differently based on available information and complexity of work involved. Pre1750 vector data for other states were supplied for 4.1 or previously, and did not require modelling. The purpose of this artificial pre-1750 modelling was to ensure that the pre-1750 and extant (present) datasets are comparable in the respective MVG and MVS classifications.

Pre1750 Vector Modelling
------------------------------------
Large areas in the original South Australia and the ACT extant vector data had ‘NoData’. Pre1750 vector layers were created by filling/cutting in these areas with estimated pre1750 data from other sources such as the Geoscience Australia (AUSLIG,1990) "Natural" vector data layer. This procedure assumes that extant native vegetation has not changed its type since European settlement. Thus, effectively, only the non-native component was modelled/estimated for pre-1750 extent.

All feature classes were then rasterised to a 100m raster with extents to a multiple of 1000 m, to ensure alignment. In some instances e.g. NSW and TAS, areas of 'NoData' had to be modelled in raster (see below).

Raster modelling
-----------------------
For large parts of NSW, the native component of NVIS extant data were cut into the Geoscience Australia (AUSLIG,1990) "Natural" raster data layer and in some smaller areas, existing pre1750 data layers (e.g. Tumut), using a complex series of raster operations. For Tasmania, the NVIS version 2.0 (i.e. the original NVIS with restructured attributes) pre-European layer was rasterised, and used to fill non-native areas of the extant NVIS vegetation layer, using raster operations, especially reclassing and merging. These procedures also assume that extant native vegetation has not changed its type since European settlement. Thus, effectively, only the non-native component was modelled/estimated for pre-1750 extent.

Final rasters were then merged into a 'state wide' raster. State rasters were then merged into this 'Australia wide' raster dataset.

MVG Legend
---------------------
The MVG legend was adapted from an ArcView 3 legend file from the original NVIS. It was modifed to suit the current classification and saved as ArcGIS "layer" files to suit both vector and raster data types. The order of MVG classes in the legend needs to be re-organised manually to conform with the SORT_ORDER field as provided in the Raster VAT.

Source data acknowledgements:
This raster product is modelled from data originally supplied by the states and territories.
DSEWPaC acknowledges the following departments/organisations -
- ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate
- NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
- NT Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport
- QLD Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (QLD Herbarium)
- SA Department of Environment and Natural Resources
- TAS Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment
- VIC Department of Sustainability and Environment
- WA Department of Agriculture and Food
- Geoscience Australia

Data quality report - Absolute external positional accuracy:
The positional accuracy depends on the source data. Data sources used and the quality of the mapped information should be obtained from the separate key map for the NVIS pre1750 theme (see Key Layers data).

The input data were checked by ERIN for the geographic coordinate system and correct datum. For vector data, the GDA94 was adopted as standard but any input data using WGS84 was re-defined as GDA94. Final rasters for MVGs were then reprojected to Albers Equal Area for ease of analysis.

Further information on particular datasets is available from the data custodians.

Data quality report - Attribute accuracy:
The information is based on the data in the National Vegetation Information System, other mapped vegetation information, expert advice and key references.

The Major Vegetation Groups (MVGs) represent an aggregation of the vegetation structure, floristic and association information that attempts to unify variations in nomenclature, anomalies in assigned ecological dominance and helps overcome any bias in the data sourced from different projects.

A detailed profile of each MVG for the previous version of NVIS is available in the Australian Native Vegetation Assessment 2001 at URL < http://audit.deh.gov.au/ANRA/vegetation/docs/Native_vegetation/nat_veg_contents.cfm >.

See Lineage for the creation of the MVG legend.
See Completeness for further information on the completeness of the attribution.

Data quality report - Conceptual consistency:
Major Vegetation groups were allocated, where possible, to resolve inconsistencies in the classification of vegetation types across administrative boundaries.

Both visual and technical checks of the structural integrity of the source spatial data were performed. All input data were cleaned using very small tolerances before rasterising the data to derive the summary products.

All data is sourced from vegetation maps, except for some gapfilling in the ACT, NSW, SA, and TAS.

Estimated pre-1750 layers for most of NSW, all of SA and the ACT are at a much coarser resolution than the majority of the data layer. The process of cutting (finer-scaled) native vegetation from the NVIS extant theme for these areas ensured that the two NVIS themes (extant and estimated pre-1750) are broadly comparable.

Data quality report - Completeness:
A total of 33 MVGs have been identified with 31 present in this pre1750 (pre-European, pre-clearing vegetation) theme dataset. MVG’s 25 (cleared) and 29 (regrowth/modified veg) do not appear in pre 1750 vegetation.

The Version 4.1 Major Vegetation Group rasters were finalised in July 2012 for internal use and for external download.

This version has been created in Albers Equal Area. A separate raster of Extant Major Vegetation Groups is also available for comparison with this dataset.

Modelling of pre1750 data was undertaken for the ACT, NSW, SA, and TAS. Pre1750 data was supplied by the remaining states, either for 4.1 or previous versions.

The National Vegetation Information System will be updated as vegetation mapping data becomes available.

Distribution Information:

Organisation's name: Australian Government Department of the Environment
Available format:
Format name: ArcGIS File geodatabase
Format version: 1
Available format:
Format name: ArcInfo grid
Format version: 1
Transfer options:
Online source:
Online location: Australia - Estimated Pre1750 Major Vegetation Groups - NVIS Version 4.1 (Albers 100m analysis product)
Description: Offline Data
Online source:
Online location: Australia - Estimated Pre1750 Major Vegetation Groups - NVIS Version 4.1 (Albers 100m analysis product)
Description: Downloadable Data

Metadata Information:

Metadata language: eng
Metadata character set: utf8 - 8 bit UCS Transfer Format
Last update: 20120813
Metadata contact:
Organisation's name: Australian Government Department of the Environment
Contact's position: Vegetation Data Manager
Contact's role: point of contact
Contact information:
Phone:
Voice: 02 6274 1111
Fax: 02 6274 1666
Address:
Delivery point:
GPO Box 787
City: Canberra
Administrative area: ACT
Postal code: 2601
Country: Australia
e-mail address: vegetation.metadata@environment.gov.au
Name of the metadata standard used: ANZLIC Metadata Profile
Version of the metadata standard: 1.1
Metadata identifier: ea08a9da-48d3-4bff-b9f0-d0e81399cb30