General

PoPS (the Pest or Pathogen Spread model) is a robust geospatial modeling platform to predict the spread of pests or pathogens over a landscape. In simpler terms, PoPS allows a user to model how a pest (insect) or pathogen (disease) will spread across a landscape over time.

For example, PoPS has been used to predict the spread of Spotted Lanternfly (invasive insect) across Pennsylvania and Sudden Oak Death (invasive pathogen) through California.

The platform comes with all of the necessary tools to go from initial pest/pathogen data to modeling results quickly and easily.

PoPS is freely available in two forms:
  1. Easy-to-use web-based interface. On this site, you can calibrate and validate a new case study and then run various management and weather scenarios to predict the spread of your pest or pathogen.
  2. R-package: If you want more control and the ability to edit or add to the PoPS source code, then you will want to use the PoPS R-package.

The short answer is "no". A machine learning model is only as good as the data it is learning from. If you have bad data, you'll have a bad model. If you don't have any data, the model can not draw any meaningful conclusions.

With that said, the long answer is "maybe, depending on the situation".

  • Is this an invasive pest from another country? If there is data on spread in another location, you may be able to make informed decisions about spread rates, weather depedence, etc.
  • Is your system similar to another pest/pathogen that we DO have information about? You may be able to use the calibrated model from an existing system for a new/pest pathogen.

Keep in mind: the more assumptions you make, the less accurate the model.

Excellent question! We're glad you asked, because this is what makes PoPS such a powerful tool.

At their core, all geospatial distribution models are essentially the same...

PoPS was developed at North Carolina State University.
PoPS is a modeling framework.
We request that you cite *** in any publications and presentations. Please also use the PoPS logo (here) in your presentations to help spread awareness.

Case studies

A case study is a calibrated and validated PoPS model for a specific pest/pathogen and extent (geographic region and resolution). After a case study is created, it can be used to run the model with various management or weather scenarios to predict pest/pathogen spread.

Dashboard

The PoPS Dashboard is where you can run the PoPS model with management scenarios.

PoPS Model

PoPS (the Pest or Pathogen Spread model) is a robust geospatial modeling platform to predict the spread of pests or pathogens over a landscape. In simpler terms, PoPS allows a user to model how a pest (insect) or pathogen (disease) will spread across a landscape over time.

There are multiple steps involved in PoPS. Here we will focus on the backend (i.e. code) and we will describe how to use the website/dashboard here.