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New Zealand Plant Protection 64 (2011): 288

Use of Google Earth in biosecurity: moth trapping in California

T.E.S. Sullivan, L.D. Stringer, G.S. Simmons, K. Harding and D.M. Suckling


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been used during major invasive insect incursion responses in New Zealand since about 1999. The exchange of local mapping software enabled sharing of data that could be reviewed and analysed by researchers and programme response personnel across the country to help develop invasive species control and response plans quickly. Two examples include the New Zealand response to the Argentine ant and painted apple moth invasions. Advances in web services have globalised delivery of information, and Google Earth in particular has offered novel value that has been explored with co-operators in USDA. Here, data were converted from a excel spreadsheet to *.kml format, plotted in various pre-determined ways and saved as a *.kmz file that could be emailed. Lower than desired analytical functionality was met by better forward planning of analyses for mapping. The population expansion of the light brown apple moth in California is offered as a case study to indicate how rapidly evolving tools can help surveillance programmes, and contrasts with earlier surveillance information management methods used in New Zealand.

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