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Forest Inventory ESTimation & Analysis (FIESTA)

January, 2013

Forest Inventory ESTimation & Analysis (FIESTA) is a research tool for analysts who use data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis program and work in the open-source, R statistical programming environment.


FIESTA is a collection or 'package' of R functions that can access FIA databases and summarize and compile FIA plot data and ancillary spatial information for purposes of: exploration, estimation, modeling, or mapping. It supports and is validated by current FIA online data and estimation tools, but provides flexibility to analysts for customization and adding ancillary information, while interfacing with other R packages or tools.

FIESTA was developed because of a need for a flexible estimation engine to answer any research question, using ancillary data we think is best, at any time. Where FIA's online tools are excellent for producing fast and consistent products for state-wide assessments, they are not easily manipulated to handle unique situations. FIESTA provides an adaptive environment for handling many different situations, such as:

  • Unique population boundaries
  • Different validation time periods (e.g., annual)
  • Customized stratification schemes
  • Non-standard population characteristics and filters (e.g., National Forest System dominance types)
  • Non-standard variance equations (e.g., non-response)
  • Supplementary inventory data (e.g., photo-based inventories)
  • Integration of remotely-sensed and other ancillary data

FIESTA is composed of several different functions that are related to one of 5 categories, indicated by the prefix of each name. Learn about the functions within each category by following links to descriptions and examples.

  1. Database tools (DB) – query and extract data tables from FIA database (Oracle/Access).
  2. Data tools (dat) – summarize and explore FIA data.
  3. Spatial tools (sp) – extract and manipulate spatial data.
  4. Modules (GB, SA, PB,..) – different estimation strategies (ex. GreenBook, SmallArea, PhotoBased, ..)
  5. Analysis tools (an) – wrapper functions for analysts to stream-line estimation strategies. 


Frescino, Tracey ; Patterson, Paul L. ; Freeman, Elizabeth ; Moisen, Gretchen , 2012


R package (currently not available on CRAN)

National Strategic Program Areas: 
Inventory and Monitoring
RMRS Science Program Areas: 
Inventory and Monitoring
RMRS Strategic Priorities: 
Inventory & Monitoring
Project Contact: 

Principal Investigators: