Development: Development delineation: Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, NJ, 2012

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Frequently anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Development: Development delineation: Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, NJ, 2012
Understanding how sea-level rise will affect coastal landforms and the species and habitats they support is critical for crafting approaches that balance the needs of humans and native species. Given this increasing need to forecast sea-level rise effects on barrier islands in the near and long terms, we are developing Bayesian networks to evaluate and to forecast the cascading effects of sea-level rise on shoreline change, barrier island state, and piping plover habitat availability. We use publicly available data products, such as lidar, orthophotography, and geomorphic feature sets derived from those, to extract metrics of barrier island characteristics at consistent sampling distances. The metrics are then incorporated into predictive models and the training data used to parameterize those models. This data release contains the extracted metrics of barrier island geomorphology and spatial data layers of habitat characteristics that are input to Bayesian networks for piping plover habitat availability and barrier island geomorphology. These datasets and models are being developed for sites along the northeastern coast of the United States. This work is one component of a larger research and management program that seeks to understand and sustain the ecological value, ecosystem services, and habitat suitability of beaches in the face of storm impacts, climate change, and sea-level rise.
For additional information on processing and use of this geospatial dataset, see the USGS Open-File report by Zeigler and others (2019).
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    Zeigler, Sara L., Sturdivant, Emily J., and Gutierrez, Benjamin T., 2019, Development: Development delineation: Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, NJ, 2012: data release DOI:10.5066/P944FPA4, U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, Woods Hole, MA.

    Online Links:

    This is part of the following larger work.

    Sturdivant, Emily J., Zeigler, Sara L., Gutierrez, Benjamin T., and Weber, Kathryn M., 2019, Barrier island geomorphology and shorebird habitat metrics—Four sites in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia, 2010–2014: data release DOI:10.5066/P944FPA4, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

    Suggested citation: Sturdivant, E.J., Zeigler, S.L., Gutierrez, B.T., and Weber, K.M., 2019, Barrier island geomorphology and shorebird habitat metrics—Four sites in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia, 2010–2014: U.S. Geological Survey data release,
  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -74.26745372
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -74.09249875
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 39.76460317
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 39.53054848
  3. What does it look like? (PNG)
    Example polygons depicting human development and coastal armoring at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, New Jersey.
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Beginning_Date: 31-Oct-2012
    Ending_Date: 06-Nov-2012
    Ground condition measured by source data.
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: vector digital dataset
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
      This is a Vector data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):
      • G-polygon (67)
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      Grid_Coordinate_System_Name: Universal Transverse Mercator
      UTM_Zone_Number: 18
      Scale_Factor_at_Central_Meridian: 0.9996
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -75.0
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 0.0
      False_Easting: 500000.0
      False_Northing: 0.0
      Planar coordinates are encoded using coordinate pair
      Abscissae (x-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 0.6096
      Ordinates (y-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 0.6096
      Planar coordinates are specified in meters
      The horizontal datum used is North_American_Datum_1983.
      The ellipsoid used is GRS_1980.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.0.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257222101.
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    Attribute Table
    Table containing attribute information associated with the dataset. (Source: Producer defined)
    Internal feature number. (Source: ESRI) Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.
    Feature geometry. (Source: ESRI) Coordinates defining the features.
    Placeholder field. (Source: Producer defined)

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • Sara L. Zeigler
    • Emily J. Sturdivant
    • Benjamin T. Gutierrez
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: Sara L. Zeigler
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2290 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)

Why was the data set created?

The vector layer delineates areas of human development. Polygons were hand-digitized from 0.35-m aerial imagery captured in 2012 and outline areas of general human development (for example, buildings, residential development, paved roads) as well as coastal armoring (for example, jetties and groins). The data was used in vector format during a supervised land cover classification and converted to raster format to be merged with other land cover sub-classifications, producing the supervised classification raster layer (EF12_SupClass.tif in larger work).
This dataset is part of a series of spatial datasets used to describe characteristics of barrier islands found along the North American Atlantic coast in order to identify habitat for the federally protected piping plover (Charadrius melodus). Information contained in these spatial datasets was used within a Bayesian network to model the probability that a specific set of landscape characteristics would be associated with piping plover habitat (Zeigler and others 2019).

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
    Orthoimage (source 1 of 1)
    Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Geodetic Survey (NGS), Remote Sensing Division, 20121115, Hurricane Sandy: Rapid Response Imagery of the Surrounding Regions: NOAA's Ocean Service, National Geodetic Survey (NGS), Silver Spring, MD.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: digital data
    Visual imagery used for digitizing shorefront development. Source data were distributed at 0.35 m pixel resolution, in horizontal datum NAD83. Downloaded on 2/15/2016. Data were projected to UTM Zone 18N (EPSG:26918) using the ‘Project Raster’ tool in ArcToolbox (version 10.4.1).
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: 2017 (process 1 of 2)
    In Edit sessions of ArcGIS version 10.4.1, Sara L. Zeigler manually outlined areas that were anthropogenic development in the orthoimage. The features considered development included buildings and other man-made structures, paved roads, groins, jetties, and seawalls.
    Date: 10-Aug-2020 (process 2 of 2)
    Added keywords section with USGS persistent identifier as theme keyword. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?
    Zeigler, Sara L., Sturdivant, Emily J., and Gutierrez, Benjamin T., 2019, Evaluating barrier island characteristics and piping plover (Charadrius melodus) habitat availability along the U.S. Atlantic coast—Geospatial approaches and methodology: Open-File Report 2019–1071, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

    Details the methods used to process these data for use in barrier island and piping plover habitat modeling.

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

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    The horizontal accuracy of the vector layer inherits the accuracy of the orthoimagery from which it was derived (see source contribution information).
    This dataset was derived through manual digitization based on visual interpretation of aerial imagery. Some error is intrinsic in the manual process. We estimate the accuracy of this development raster to be within 5 m horizontally. No formal accuracy assessments have been conducted.
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    This dataset contains all human development within a custom boundary, to the best of our knowledge based on visual inspection of orthoimagery. This dataset may not include the entire spatial extent of the original source dataset as it was published in original form. However, the custom boundary spans the entire coverage of the site relevant to the broader research program (see Zeigler and others, 2019 for more details). This dataset is therefore considered complete for the information presented as described in the abstract section. Users are advised to read the rest of the metadata record carefully for additional details.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    This vector layer depicts hand-digitized areas of human development. It was produced manually based on visual inspection of orthoimagery. The data were reviewed using standard USGS review procedures. No checks for topological consistency were performed on these data.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints: None. Please see 'Distribution Info' for details.
Public domain data from the U.S. Government are freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. Please recognize the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as the source of this information.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
    Denver Federal Center, Building 810, Mail Stop 302
    Denver, CO

    1-888-275-8747 (voice)
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? These data are available as an Esri shapefile (EF12_Development.shp and associated shapefile components). Additionally, the CSDGM FGDC metadata (EF12_Development_meta.xml) and the browse graphic (EF_Development_browse.png) are included. These data can be downloaded individually or packaged on-demand in a zip file (see the Digital Transfer Option section).
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    Neither the U.S. Government, the Department of the Interior, nor the USGS, nor any of their employees, contractors, or subcontractors, make any warranty, express or implied, nor assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, nor represent that its use would not infringe on privately owned rights. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the USGS in the use of these data or related materials. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and have been processed successfully on a computer system at the USGS, no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data for other purposes, nor on all computer systems, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. The USGS or the U.S. Government shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described and/or contained herein. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
  4. How can I download or order the data?
  5. What hardware or software do I need in order to use the data set?
    To utilize these data, the user must have software capable of reading shapefile format, or GIS software capable of utilizing web mapping or feature services.

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 10-Aug-2020
Metadata author:
Sara L. Zeigler
U.S. Geological Survey
384 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA
United States

508-548-8700 x2290 (voice)
Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

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