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Data Series 749

Notice: This USGS Publication has been Superseded by Data Series 806

Data Entry Module and Manuals for the Land Treatment Digital Library

By Justin L. Welty and David S. Pilliod


Across the country, public land managers make decisions each year that influence landscapes and ecosystems within their jurisdictions. Many of these decisions involve vegetation manipulations, which often are referred to as land treatments. These treatments include removal or alteration of plant biomass, seeding of burned areas, application of herbicides, and other activities. Data documenting these land treatments usually are stored at local management offices in various formats. Therefore, anyone interested in the types and effects of land treatments across multiple jurisdictions must first assemble the information, which can be difficult if data discovery and organization involve multiple local offices. A centralized system for storing and accessing the data helps inform land managers when making policy and management considerations and assists scientists in developing sampling designs and studies.

The Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL) was created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as a comprehensive database incorporating tabular data, documentation, photographs, and spatial data about land treatments in a single system. It was developed over a period of several years and refined based on feedback from partner agencies and stakeholders. Currently, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land treatment data are being entered by USGS personnel as part of a memorandum of understanding between the USGS and BLM. The LTDL has a website maintained by the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center where LTDL data can be viewed

The resources and information provided in this data series allow other agencies, organizations, and individuals to download an empty, stand-alone LTDL database to individual or networked computers. Data entered in these databases may be submitted to the USGS for possible inclusion in the online LTDL.

Multiple computer programs are used to accomplish the objective of the LTDL. The support of an information-technology specialist or professionals familiar with Microsoft Access™, ESRI’s ArcGIS™, Python, Adobe Acrobat Professional™, and computer settings is essential when installing and operating the LTDL. After the program is operational, a critical element for successful data entry is an understanding of the difference between database tables and forms, and how to edit data in both formats. Complete instructions accompany the program, and they should be followed carefully to ensure the setup and operation of the database goes smoothly.

Questions or comments about this product can be directed to support staff using this e-mail address:

Database System

The following four documents are intended to help LTDL users enter data. These documents, the database structure, and some sample data also can be downloaded from this Web site.

  1. LTDL Installation Instructions and User’s Manual
    This document describes how to properly install the LTDL to avoid errors and how to set up the LTDL to prepare for data entry. It also briefly describes each form and the kind of data to enter in each section. Users should read this guide before entering data.
  2. LTDL Tool and Control Guide
    The LTDL contains hundreds of tools, checkboxes, and controls. This guide defines each database tool and gives instructions for operating many of the tools. Users should read this guide before entering data.
  3. LTDL Data Storage Tables
    Data entered into the LTDL are stored in various tables. This document identifies each table where entered data are stored, the form with which the table is associated, and which fields are associated with the table. The field names, types, size, heading in the form, and definitions are also included. Use this document to identify which data a user would like to view in table format.
  4. LTDL Background Tables
    The LTDL uses multiple tables to store information for drop-down lists, multiple select lists, temporary storage of data, and other functions. These tables, along with their definitions and fields, are identified here. Use this document to identify which table should receive additional values for a list within the LTDL.


We thank Thomas Zariello, Troy Wirth, and David Hockman-Wert for their assistance in reviewing this product. Linda Schueck provided guidance and advice on programming the LTDL. We also thank the LTDL staff for their help in identifying errors and making suggestions for improving the database to assist in getting it to its current state. The support and collaboration from the Bureau of Land Management are greatly appreciated.

First posted July 24, 2013

Revised February 21, 2018

For additional information contact:
Director, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center,
U.S. Geological Survey, 777 NW 9th Street
Corvallis, Oregon 97330

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Welty, J.L., and Pilliod, D.S., 2013, Data entry module and manuals for the Land Treatment Digital Library: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 749,

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