The main interface with the PISCES database is through a collection of customized ArcGIS tools. These tools are found in the PISCES toolbox (PISCES\tbx\PISCES.tbx). Please see the Setting up a New Map with PISCES tools tutorial for instructions about adding the PISCES toolbox to a map document.

The tools in the toolbox are broken up into three categories:
  1. Management
  2. Modification
  3. Output

More information and help for each tool is embedded in the tool interface. Open the tool from the toolbox and click the Show Help button.


Add HUC12 Attributes

Inserts a boolean attribute (True or False) to the Zones_Aux table in the database for each HUC12. Zones_Aux stores additional data about the properties of each HUC12. HUCs in the selection (See Selecting HUC12s tutorial for more info) will be marked as True (1) while excluded HUCs will be False (0). By default the tool adds a new column to the Zones_Aux table, but if a field name already exists the tool will update the values.

Full tool help documentation


Add Unique Field Values as Alt Codes

Extracts all of the unique values for a species ID field in a table or feature class and adds the values as alt codes for an input filter. Alt Codes are names or abbreviations for taxa that can be cross-referenced to a single species code. Prior to importing the dataset, each Alt Code should be linked to a single PISCES species code. Unknown or unresolved taxonomy can be place in temporary data bins.

The crossed-referenced links can be established during an ArcGIS editing session (add a column with the PISCES species codes) or afterwards in the Alt_Codes table in the PISCES database.

Full tool help documentation


Import Dataset

Import a dataset when the input filter and species code mappings already exist.

Full tool help documentation


Retry Import

Retry a failed import. Imports occur in two stages - setting the metadata into the database to stage the import, then the actual import. If the metadata setup occurred successfully in the Import Dataset tool, but the overall import failed, you can select the dataset to try again with this tool.

Full tool help documentation


Add or Modify Data

Modifies data in the database by using a selection of HUC12s (See Selecting HUC12s tutorial for more info) to change a species distribution. This tool supports adding new data, transferring observations from one species to another, and invalidating observations.

Full tool help documentation

More information about using the Add or Modify Data Tool


Add Species Data to Collection

Appends new records for a species to a collection. The tool adds the unique observation identification number for each record to the Observation_Collection table in the database. The tool only works on a single species at a time. This tool is often used to add individual species to quality controlled data collections after additions or changes to ranges are accepted by taxa experts.

Full tool help documentation


Undo Transaction

Records that were removed using the Add or Modify Data tool can be reverted by selecting the appropriate transaction. Please see the Transaction Table or the Invalid Observation Table to find the appropriate transaction ID. Be aware that this tool will restore all records for the transaction.

Full tool help documentation


Generate Layer from Query

Produces a custom layer using SQL query syntax. Layers can be produced using callback functions and arguments. This tool can be used to create custom layers from the database but if the query is going to be implemented multiple times, it is better to create a new map set.

Full tool help documentation


Generate Map

Outputs preconfigured PISCES map sets for species or groups.

More information about using the Generate Map Tool

Full tool help documentation


Common Map Outputs

Map Set Description
Main Range Maps Outputs all quality controlled data for the selected species
Unlimited Range Maps Outputs maps will ALL data. Doesn’t limit results to quality controlled records
Species Richness A basic alpha richness map for all fish
Native Richness A basic alpha richness map run for only native fish
Nonnative Richness A basic alpha richness map run for nonnative fish
Richness Difference Calculates the difference between current and historical assemblages. Runs the richness_difference callback function.
Sensitive Native Taxa Alpha richness of sensitive native species in each HUC12. Species status scores found in Species_Aux.

Generate Species Matrix

Generates a presence/absence matrix for a species, species group, or list of species. Exports matrix as a comma separated value table. Using a custom SQL query will override the default database query and allow custom exports. Any data can be added to the SQL query, so long as it returns HUCs that represent something about a species at a location.

Full tool help documentation


Look Up Records

This tool looks up records related to a selection of HUC12s and returns them as a table into the ArcMap table of contents. Optional parameters can filter records matching species, observation type, or collection.

Full tool help documentation


Summary Stats

The tool runs a number of summary calculations about the number of records in the database. A table with the current database summary statistics will be generated and then added to the table of contents. Metrics include the number of records, number of datasets and the number of species.

Full tool help documentation


Change Configuration Options

The tool allows the user to change the default options, switch on debug mode, change user profile, change default, export formats and location, and set the database location.

Full tool help documentation