Rights-of-Way as Habitat Geospatial Database

The Rights-of-Way as Habitat Database is a geospatial database that tracks existing and potential pollinator habitat managed by rights-of-way (ROW) organizations. If you are interested in learning how to navigate and participate in the database, you have come to the right place! Here you will find guidance for the range of users we envision interacting with the database, including information on:

  • Account set-up
  • Data collection
  • Data upload
  • Data analysis
  • Sharing and collaboration

The database enables better quantification of habitat managed by ROW organizations, improves our understanding of the ecological value that ROWs provide, demonstrates pollinator habitat restoration activities on ROWs, and promotes conservation collaborations within and across sectors.

ROW as Habitat Database documents, including the Database User Guide, data schema guidelines and template, and detailed data sharing and field visibility options are available here

Graphic showing contact details

Photo of ROWHWG meeting members asses habitat on Ohio DOT
ROWHWG meeting members asses habitat on Ohio DOT (August 2019).

The Database

The UIC Energy Resources Center and Field Museum Keller Science Action Center have worked with several ROW partner organizations since 2017 to develop a habitat and management tracking database. Users can store and view information about habitat managed on ROWs and other energy and transportation lands within a shared database platform. The database also integrates the Pollinator Scorecard to capture field data on habitat quality and supports tracking and reporting for the monarch CCAA.

For a more detailed description of the geospatial database system goals, functionality, and design, check out the 2020 ESRI User Conference presentation: Managing Multi-Organizational Habitat Data Using ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Server (below).

What’s next?

As the database is populated with more pollinator habitat information, the database team is excited to continue developing analytical resources to better track, understand, and communicate the role and collective benefits of habitat on ROW.

Account Set-Up

Do you manage habitat that you would like added to the database? Start by creating an account using the Intake Questionnaire.

Data Collection

The database provides a clearinghouse for information on where and how pollinator habitat is managed on ROW and other energy and transportation lands. Users can enter information about management areas or sites where habitat has been restored or is specially maintained, as well as monitoring data on habitat quality characteristics. Information can be collected and entered in aggregate across your organization’s entire system or in real-time across individual sites.

We aim to make data collection an integrated part of your organization’s current workflow. Users can collect and automatically upload data into the database using fieldwork collection tools such as Survey123 or Collector for ArcGIS, accessible via phone or tablet, online or offline. The Pollinator Scorecard field assessment forms for Tier 1 Midwest/Northeast, Tier 1 West/South, Tier 2, and Tier 3 are available in Survey123 or in PDF format (to print as hard copies in the field). Alternatively, if your organization has a different data collection system in place, we provide detailed documentation on the database schema to help align your data with our system.

Guide for Using Survey123 provides step-by-step instructions for downloading, using, and reporting with Survey123.

Data Upload

Data collected via Survey123 or Collector for ArcGIS apps are automatically uploaded directly into the database. Alternatively, data may be loaded into the geodatabase template before being uploaded into the database via ArcGIS Pro or by email submittal. These responsibilities fall to the Data Manager of your organization, designated during the Intake Questionnaire. Contact the geodatabase technical support team for assistance uploading data.

Image showing ROWHWG database

Sharing Options

Data visibility and administrative permissions are determined by users at the time of account set-up using the Intake Questionnaire. You may choose to share detailed information with users within your organization or partner organizations to help inform vegetation management best practices and track progress. You may also choose to share data externally with other database users in order to support collaborative learning and benchmarking. Limited data will also be aggregated by county on a public dashboard.


Intake Questionnaire

Database User Guidance

Guide for Using Survey123

Pollinator Habitat Scorecard 

Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol Tier 1 Midwest/Northeast

Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol Tier 1 West/South

Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol Tier 2

Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol Tier 3

Monarch CCAA

The Geospatial Habitat Database is made possible through support from…


American Transmission Company 

Commonwealth Edison

Davey Resource Group Inc.

Duke Energy

Idaho Department of Transportation 

Illinois Department of Transportation

Illinois Tollway

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation


North Central Integrated Pest Management Center

The Field Museum

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service