The mapping standards were designed to be compatible with most existing invasive species inventories. Their purpose is not to add to the level of work for weed managers, but to lighten their workload by making it possible to share information across boundaries easily. Of couse, for the full benefit of the standards to be realized, everyone involved in weed management needs to adopt the standards.
The main purpose of these minimum standards is to increase the ability to share information. The idea is not to create a single database, but to create a system where information being collected is compatible across multiple databases. It is important to note that these are intended to be the minimum standards. The standards address the most basic information required to accurately compare invasive species problems across all landscapes by all land managers.
There are three basic elements of a proper weed inventory. Information collected must answer the following questions: what is the weed?; where is it located?; and how large is the infestation? The standards contain the data fields that are requried to satisfy these basic elements.
The 2014 Mapping Standards documents are listed below: