Sonoma County Vegetation Mapping and LiDAR Program Winter Newsletter and Data Announcement

Sonoma Vegetation Mappping and LiDAR Program

Data Announcement - March 14, 2019

2018 Post-Fire Imagery Available

Funded by a NASA Rapid Response Grant, Sonoma County Ag + Open Space oversaw the collection of 1-foot resolution, 4-band aerial imagery of the full extents of the Tubbs, Nuns, and Pocket fires which burned in October 2017 in Sonoma County.  Collected in mid-June, 2018, the leaf-on imagery is being used for post-fire analysis, quantification of fire-caused canopy damage, and monitoring of vegetation recovery.  

The post-fire imagery is now publicly available as an image service and as downloadable TIFs and is posted on

2017 Fires Canopy Damage Maps

As part of the same NASA Rapid Response Grant that funded the collection of the 2018 post-fire imagery, Sonoma County Ag + Open Space and contractors Kass Green and Associates and Tukman Geospatial developed canopy damage maps for all areas of the 2017 fires that had pre-fire woody vegetation cover.  For each stand of vegetation the damage maps provide a value for the percent of the woody canopy greater than 7 feet in height damaged by the wildfires. These data and other products from the NASA grant will inform the work of the Sonoma County Office of Recovery and Resilience.

The damage maps are publicly available as a feature service, a geodatabase feature class, and are posted on  

2017 North Bay Fires Story Map

Sonoma County Ag + Open Space developed a Story Map about the 2017 fires. This data sharing project was prioritized by the Sonoma County Watershed Collaborative in their report Living in a Fire Adapted Landscape.

View interactive maps and graphics that detail the history of fire in Sonoma County and in California; learn more about the Tubbs, Nuns, and Pocket fires that burned in October 2017; and explore fire's effects on the county’s natural vegetation through aerial imagery and maps of woody canopy damage.

Link to 2017 Fires Story Map

Fuel Model and Ladder Fuels

Led by the Pepperwood Foundation and funded by the Flora L. Thornton Foundation, a team consisting of Tukman Geospatial, Digital Mapping Solutions, Wildland Resource Management, and a group of technical advisors are in the process of developing a 5-meter resolution fuel model for Sonoma County.  The fuel model will be the first fine scale countywide fuel model for Sonoma County and will serve as a critical input for fire behavior modeling. The fuel model will be released in the spring.  

As part of the fuel modeling effort, a ladder fuel raster has been developed from the 2013 LiDAR point cloud.  The ladder fuel raster provides information on vegetation density between 1 and 4 meters above ground - the critical zone for ladder fuels.

Link to the ladder fuel Raw Raster and Classified Raster

Fine Scale Veg Map Final Report and AA

Sonoma County Ag + Open Space along with contractors Tukman Geospatial and Kass Green and Associates have completed the final report for the Sonoma County fine scale vegetation map.  The report includes information about the methods used to make the vegetation map, an overview of the fine-scale vegetation map and related data products and their specifications, and a detailed quantitative accuracy assessment of the map.  

Included at the end of the report are one-page summaries for each fine scale map class that describe the map class, its floristic components, its distribution on the landscape, and its map accuracy.  

Link to Final Sonoma County Veg Map Report and AA

2018 Countywide Imagery (6-inch)

Sonoma County Information Systems Department (ISD) oversaw collection of countywide high resolution imagery collected in early spring, 2018.  The imagery - mostly collected during leaf-off conditions - is 6-inch resolution and has 4 bands - red, green, blue, and near-infrared.  

Sonoma County ISD has made the 2018 imagery, which was collected by Pictometry International, publicly available as image services.  These services can be found at the following REST endpoints:

True Color Image Service
False Color (CIR) Image Service

Riparian Area Maps

This spring Sonoma County Ag + Open Space is completing a set of countywide maps that represent Sonoma County's riparian areas.  Maps include tributary junction points and channel and floodplain boundaries for stream systems with >500 acres of upstream catchment area.  Screening level riparian maps were developed using a combination of field work, object-based image analysis, manual image interpretation, and historic flood information.

These maps will be used as a screening dataset by Ag + Open Space to prioritize and inform riparian conservation efforts, including conservation easement acquisition and land stewardship.  Stay tuned for information on a public workshop and date of release for these products.

User Survey

Thanks to everyone that participated in our user survey last month.  Your input will help us demonstrate the value of Sonoma Veg Map data products to our partners and to better understand how the data are being accessed and applied.  We’ll post survey results for those interested soon!

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