TASVEG Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

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TASVEG Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 23 Aug, 2019 11:06 am

The TASVEG 3.0 dataset has been available publicly on the LIST OpenData for a while now (after being a closed/licensed only dataset for a long time before that).

I'd like to incorporate it into the maps that I create for my own purposes - usually for bushwalking. Currently, I'm using a dataset from Geoscience Australia which I converted from Raster to Vector (and back to raster tiles again combined with other layers for a WMTS service!), but it's very low resolution, and not as specific as I'd like (but at least it shows scrub areas quite well).

Obviously there are way too many vegetation types in TASVEG 3.0 to symbolise them all meaningfully for such purposes (eg, for buttongrass alone, there are 6 different vegcodes). The vegetation group attribute should be more reasonable for such purposes (see the list of groups below).

However, the groups are not as useful for bushwalking purposes as I'd like. Some examples of issues with using it as-is include:
  • No separate category for scrub (included in both rainforest and heathland, which can both be with or without scrub)
  • Button grass would appear the same as any other grass, including marsupial lawn

tasveg3_broad.PNG
tasveg3_broad.PNG (8.99 KiB) Viewed 12326 times


I would like to develop a layer for TASVEG 3.0 that is specifically for bushwalking purposes, so it's symbology provides information about the type of vegetation (grass, rainforest, heath, eucalypt forest, native pine forest, etc) as well as information about whether it is difficult to walk through or not (eg, scrub vs open forest vs scrub within forest; button grass vs marsupial lawn).

I don't know if I'll ever find the time to do this, or if my knowledge of the various vegetation types is sufficient to get it right. I also suspect it may require two layers (from the same data source) with the 'walkability' layer displayed over the top of the existing veg group layer.

I know that there are a few other spatial data enthusiasts on this site. So has anybody else attempted to create such a layer? Or is there something like this that already exists?

I guess what I really need to figure out is:
  • What 'walkability' categories do I want?
  • Which vegcodes fit into those categories?
Last edited by Son of a Beach on Fri 23 Aug, 2019 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TASVEG 3.0 Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 23 Aug, 2019 11:30 am

To illustrate the problem with my current maps, here's what the vegetation layer based on Geoscience Australia's data looks like. Scrub is indicated by the green "X" marks.

In my experience, it was moderately accurate for the areas SE and NW of Flat Bluff:
scrub_flat_bluff.PNG
scrub_flat_bluff.PNG (399.13 KiB) Viewed 12318 times


But it was completely wrong (showing no scrub at all) for the areas to the north and south of Bubs Hill:
scrub_bubs_hill.PNG
scrub_bubs_hill.PNG (199.69 KiB) Viewed 12318 times


I've found it to be quite unhelpful at times when trying to navigate in some off-track areas, and I'm hoping that I can make use of TASVEG 3.0 to improve my maps in this way.
(But at least I know how the maps were made, and I know not to rely on them.)
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Re: TASVEG 3.0 Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby Son of a Beach » Tue 09 Nov, 2021 1:03 pm

It's been a very long time since I considered this, but this week I had a need to create a map with some decent vegetation symbology, and so had a go at it yesterday.

Since I first posted, TasVeg 3.0 has been superseded, and we now have TasVeg 4. So my layer symbology uses TasVeg 4. It may also work OK for TasVeg 3.0, but I haven't looked that closely or tried it out. I've also switched form ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro since then, so using .lyrx files instead of .lyr files.

In case anybody else has such a need, my Vegetation .lyrx file is attached here. Feel free to use it. I've also attached an example map that illustrates what it looks like, at the bottom.

I don't know how easy it is to convert .lyrx files to work with QGIS, as I've never had a need to do so. It seems that there may be tools/plugins that can do the job, but I'm not sure how well they work, or if they cost money or not.

Vegetation.lyrx.zip
(167.6 KiB) Downloaded 149 times

Its worth noting that the native pine and native decidous layers are separate to the veg groups layer. This is because the veg groups are not specific to pine/fagus, and pine/fagus can be found in multiple veg groups. So the pine/deciduous layers use symbology over the top of the veg groups layer so that both can be visualised at the same location.

Cradle.jpg
Last edited by Son of a Beach on Thu 11 Nov, 2021 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TASVEG 3.0 Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby pazzar » Thu 11 Nov, 2021 9:40 am

Hey SoaB - how easy would this be to add as an overlay on a GPS unit (overlaid over Andrewp's osm basemaps for example)? I assume it would involve saving as an image file of some sort?

I'd be happy to provide some expertise on interpreting the veg codes with regards to walkability if you still need assistance with that. The scrub and heath communities can be particularly difficult to interpret/separate in the field, and some are much easier to move through than others.
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Re: TASVEG Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 11 Nov, 2021 11:19 am

pazzar wrote:Hey SoaB - how easy would this be to add as an overlay on a GPS unit (overlaid over Andrewp's osm basemaps for example)? I assume it would involve saving as an image file of some sort?

I don't know much about those maps, as I don't use them (or any dedicated GPS). I use my own app on my phone.

These layers are specifically for ArcGIS, but from ArcGIS is it easy to export them as GeoTIFFs which would work with most mobile mapping apps, I would think (works with mine, may work with Andrewp's too).
I'd be happy to provide some expertise on interpreting the veg codes with regards to walkability if you still need assistance with that. The scrub and heath communities can be particularly difficult to interpret/separate in the field, and some are much easier to move through than others.


It would be nice to add a symbol simply for scrub, as a separate layer similar to the ones I've got for pine and fagus. A list of all the scrub veg codes should be possible, I'll have a look through them and see what I can come up with.
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Re: TASVEG Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 11 Nov, 2021 12:10 pm

OK, I've updated the .lyrx file as well as the sample map image in the earlier post (above) to include a "Scrub" layer. The new Scrub layer is similar to the Native Pine and Native Deciduous layers in that it is overlaid on top of the other vegetation groups layer, so that both are visible at the same time. The "X" symbol in the Scrub layer should be compatible with the pine and deciduous symbols, so that hopefully they can all be seen OK, even when all are in the same location.

Out of interest, if I now look at my original problem area of Bubs Hill (from the first post in this topic), it now shows up with Scrub. Yay! (See image below.)

Here's how I've defined the three vegetation overlay layers, by TasVeg VegCode values:
  • Scrub: RHP,RKS,RKX,RSH,RFS,SAL,SBM,SBR,SCA,SED,SHF,SKA,SLG,SLL,SLS,SMP,SMR,SRE,SRF,SSC,SSK,SSW,SWW
  • Native Pine: RHP,RKF,RKP,RPF,RPP,RPW
  • Native Decidious: RFS,RKF,RPF

If anybody has better ideas, or think that other TasVeg VegCode values should be included, I'm all ears.

Bubs.JPG
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Re: TASVEG Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby tastrax » Thu 11 Nov, 2021 1:47 pm

I am happy to make QGIS style files for these if anyone is interested. You could also have the three styles in a single rule based file but the vegcodes would need to be unique in each set.
Cheers - Phil

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Re: TASVEG Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 11 Nov, 2021 2:31 pm

tastrax wrote:I am happy to make QGIS style files for these if anyone is interested. You could also have the three styles in a single rule based file but the vegcodes would need to be unique in each set.


Yep... the VegCodes are not unique across each set. :-(
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Re: TASVEG Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby tastrax » Thu 11 Nov, 2021 2:58 pm

Looks like it still works - I thought it may have only taken the style of the first rule evaluated as TRUE, but it doesn't seem to.

Need to play around with offsets and spacings to get the best for all zoom levels

TASVEG_3_0_ESRI_Bushwalk_Styles.zip
QGIS Styles
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Re: TASVEG Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 12 Nov, 2021 10:46 am

Nice one! Thanks Phil. I reckon QGIS styles are more likely to be useful to the general population than ArcGIS styles. Are your styles specific to TasVeg 3.0? Mine were for TasVeg 4 (but I guess would work for TasVeg 3 too).
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Re: TASVEG Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby tastrax » Fri 12 Nov, 2021 4:39 pm

Should still work for Tasveg 4 so long as the vegcode field is still the same name
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Re: TASVEG Symbology Groupings for Bushwalkers?

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 14 Nov, 2022 11:11 am

In case anybody finds this useful, here's an update to this layer file (TasVeg 4.0 for ArcGIS Pro).

Although the previous version looked good on screen, I found that when printing, the colours were too strong and other map layers (such as tracks) were difficult to see over the top of them. This version has the colours of the vegetation layers a little more faded/muted. I reckon it looks a LOT better when printed.

The downside of this change is that it makes the colours less distinct between the vegetation types (because they are all faded a little more towards white, they are therefore all a little more similar to each other).

Vegetation.lyrx.zip
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