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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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What is the title of the data set?

New Jersey Ecomap

What does the data set describe?

Land Type Associations (LTA), and  Ecological land types (ELT)

What geographic area does the data set cover?

Hudson Valley Section of Northern New Jersey

What is the date that the data describes?


How does the data set represent geographic features?

Features are represented by vector-based polygons resulting from 50’x 50’ grid cell analysis. (i.e. map units are representative of landscape  features.

How are geographic features stored in the data set?

Data is stored in ESRI shapefile format

What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

New Jersey State Plane North American Datum 1983

How does the data set describe geographic features?

Polygons delineate ecological land types by classifying soil characteristics of hydrological and forest fertility with indices which are influenced by landscape position and elevation.

What are the types of features present?

Features are grouped by their soil and geological characteristics.

Who produced the data set?

The New Jersey Forest Service.

To whom should users address questions about the data?

New Jersey Forest Service – Trenton New Jersey

Why was the data set created?

The data was created for the NJ Forest Service Ecomap project (National Hierarchy of Ecological Units) which maps natural land types and site potential.

What is the recommend use for the data?

Forest and land management planning

What are aspects of concerned for a non-specialist to interpret the data?

Requires the complete Publication to understand the extent of ELT distribution and text descriptions to interpret the potential of the ELT map units.

How was the data set created?

Created from NRCS SSURGO soil maps and digital elevation model

Were the source data compiled at a particular scale?

Soils units were compiled at 1:24000. 30 meter DEMS were resampled at 50 x 50 feet and used to generate slope and elevation values.

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

The data is a representative model of the landscape, which is based on data available at the time.  Actual changes on the landscape, if drastic enough, will influence the potential of the site.

What can you say about the accuracy of the observations?

Extensive Vegetation Sampling was conducted on each soils series across the landscape to identify the potential natural vegetation. This data combined with field visits after modeling helped determine cut off values of ELTS at various elevations. Determining an accuracy value may not be achievable.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

 The NJ Forest Service distributes the data on CD in combination with the Publication for a fee.

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

All digital data, maps, reports produced as a result of this project may be reproduced of redistributed for nonprofit use by crediting the New Jersey Forest Service as the source.  NJFS holds no liability for use of the data.

Who distributes the data?

The NJ FS distributes the data.  The publication is available in pdf format

How can people download or order the data?

Contact the NJ Forest Service at 609-292-2531

In what formats are the data available?

Data is available on CD in ESRI Inc. shapefile format, as ArcInfo Export files, and is also packaged in an Arc Explorer project

What hardware or software do people need in order to use the data set?

Data can be utilized by a number of GIS applications including Arcview 3.2, ArcINFO, ArcGIS and Arc Explorer which is a free GIS viewer available at

What are some suggested uses of the Data for New Jersey’s various communities of user?

The data can be used to identify the distribution and quantitative information of land types with in a given area of interest.  The characteristics of a site on the landscape change much slower in time than the land use or land cover.  This data provides a basis to develop long range plans and to evaluate change.

Potential applications:

(environmental management)

The primary use of the data is to provide options to land management planners and managers by providing the potential of a site rather than the current condition of a site. . 

Potential applications:

(regional planning)

The data puts into perspective the distribution of land types across the landscape. ELTs can be combined with land cover information to provide current conditions and options

Potential applications:

(local planning)

On the local level a community can determine the scope of its land types as it applies to the region. A particular town may contain the greatest % of a particular land type.

Potential applications:

(habitat analysis)

Close correlation’s of plant and animal species occurrences should exist with the land types.  The NJ Forest Service identified ELTs capable of supporting Atlantic White Cedar and used them to identify areas void of cedar.  These areas were targeted for cedar restoration quite successfully.

Potential applications:

(open space preservation)

Once a correlation between specie habitats and ELTs is, made land acquisition programs can target the areas representing the characteristics of areas in need of restoration or protection.

Division of Science, Research and Environmental Health
Dr. Gary A. Buchanan, Director
Mailing Address:
Mail code 428-01, P.O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 0862

Phone: (609) 984-6070
Fax: (609) 292-7340