Using Public Data and Satellite Imagery to Construct Natural Resource Management Databases: Wind Turbine Installations in Nevada and California


Matthew J Weldy, Canyon Biological and Geospatial Consultants

Tricia A. Miller, Stephen Wood, Michael Strager & Todd Katzner, West Virginia University


Research on impacts to wildlife of renewable energy require knowledge of locations of developments. Although there are several publicly available databases of energy developments, many have not been quality-controlled and even those that have do not always include all public lands and private lands. We developed a database of wind turbine locations throughout California and Nevada. The data were collected using publicly available information. Location data for industrial scale wind installations were derived from the publicly available Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Digital Obstacles File (DOF) and the Bureau of Land Management’s Renewable Energy Project’s website. The spatial data were compiled and checked for accuracy by importing and displaying coordinate data into ArcMap 10. The displayed coordinates were then verified for accuracy by visual evaluation using multiple sources of satellite imagery including Google Earth, Bing and Landsat. The edited data were then recompiled and exported into ArcMap Personal Databases. Each database consists of multiple feature class sets describing subsets of turbines within each state.

Databases are available for use in any not-for-profit research and evaluation. Databases are for California and Nevada.

If you use this database, please cite it as:

Weldy, M.J., T.A. Miller, S.R. Wood, M. Strager & T. Katzner. 2014. Using public data and satellite imagery to construct natural resource management databases: wind turbine installations in Nevada and California. Downloaded from, accessed XXXXX.

A copy of the poster presented at the Western TWS meeting in Reno in Janaury 2014 is available here.