i-Tree Eco Version Considerations
Eco v5 - Eco v6 beta considerations
Why are there (2) versions of Eco in the i-Tree 2016 suite?
A legacy copy of Eco v5 is included in the i-Tree 2016 suite to accommodate Eco projects in progress to avoid having to learn or adjust to new Eco v6 features and protocols.
Eco users working with older technology may need to use the Eco v5 legacy version. For example, the old PDA Utility is only available in the Eco v5 (legacy) version for field data collection. Eco v5 is still compatible with the unsupported Windows XP operating system; However, Eco v6 requires Windows 7 or a newer operating systems to use.
- Eco Guide to Installing Software & System requirements.
- Eco Guide to using the Eco v5 legacy application - Instructions for user using Eco v5 with the older PDA data collection option.
Which Eco version should I use if I am considering a new project?
Users creating completely new Eco projects should consider using the new Eco v6 application as that will be the platform expanded, updated and supported into the future.
What should I do if I am currently collecting data using Eco v5?
Eco v5 users who are currently working on a project in progress should continue using the Eco v5 legacy application to avoid introducing any changes in data collection protocols. After data collection is complete, an Eco v5 project can be updated into Eco v6 and submitted for processing to take advantage of new reporting options and other features like forecasting.
What if I have an international Eco project that was manually processed by the Forest Service?
International Eco projects that were previously processed by the Forest Service will require manual re-processing by the US Forest Service. Therefore, these will need to be updated in Eco v6 and resubmitted for processing along with potentially providing hourly pollution data and other required information as specified in the Eco v6 documentation.
- See the Eco v6 Guide International Projects (pdf) for further details.
- Visit the International Eco page for a basic overview.
You can also continue to access previously processed international Eco projects using the legacy Eco v5 application. For users in the UK, a previously processed manual project can be upgraded in Eco v6 and submitted for automated processing same as users in the US.
How do I upgrade my completed Eco v5 project to use in the Eco v6 application?
If you have a completed and processed Eco v5 project, you can launch the Eco v6 application and select the Eco v5 project using the "File - Open Project" option. The application will create a new project compatible in Eco v6 and perform any conversions necessary. You will need to re-submit in v6 for processing to generate an updated set of results. Your existing Eco v5 project will still remain and can be opened in the legacy Eco application.
Why are there differences between my existing Eco v5 project and my updated Eco v6 project?
The i-Tree Eco model is continuously improved and updated as new science, improved modeling, and accepted methods can be investigated and integrated in the Eco platform. Besides modeling changes, users can select different pollution and weather years in Eco v6 which will cause differences between v5 projects. Valution methods could also be updated such as using the Social Cost of Carbon and BenMAP modeling for pollution estimates. In short, there are many reasons why you may see differences.
- See the Eco Guide to Model Differences (pdf) for further learning on why estimates change.
- See the i-Tree Eco v6 Model Enhancements (pdf) for information on changes to several modeling routines and valuations which affect Eco v6 estimates.
How can I compare my results from an old study with a reassessment using Eco v6?
Since the i-Tree Eco assessment platform is continuously changing, we recommend reprocessing earlier or original Eco assessment projects using the current version of Eco, and comparing the results with the an updated or new project based on new measurements. Essentially, you will be rerunning your original project and new project using the same model code to examine relative change between (2) projects based on differences in vegetation or land use changes between projects.
Although this approach may have limitations as reassessment results may change due to new or improved modeling methods, it is a consideration that Eco users should recognize when considering short and long term management and planning objectives.