Using Laser Scanning to Catalog a Forest

This is a follow up to the recent blog post highlighting the use of laser scanning to analyze in great detail the potential yield of a forest stand, tree by tree. Treemetrics claims that they are the first in the world to fully automate this process – from data collection to simulated harvest and production.

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3 Responses to Using Laser Scanning to Catalog a Forest

  1. Very cool, but I do wonder how that would work in our “messy” New England forests. Much like all those wonderful airborne LiDAR individual tree detection algorithms developed out West, things break down when you have live and dead trees in close proximity with varying terrain.

  2. Terry says:

    The question isn’t whether or not it would work in our New England forests, but whether it works at all. Or rather, whether what it does is actually useful. From the looks of things, it’s a very expensive method of counting stems. It can also tell you how straight they are. But what about species? What about health? It just seems to be a high-tech method of gathering only a small percentage of the data actually needed, whereas a forester with a prism and a notebook can gather it all.

  3. Enda Keane says:

    Hi, Enda from TreeMetrics here, we have proven the system through independent studies in 12 different countries around the world. Numerous published papers are available on this work. Our main focus to date is to reduce the risk and uncertainty around forest valuation, timber sales. Many industry studies around the world have proven that an average of 20% of the forest value is lost due to poor harvest decisions. The root cause is poor information. We measure the variation of straightness and taper in the forest. The system is fast and very cost effective. We take the subjective human opinion of stem and forest quality out of the whole process.
    We are able to handle multiple species and dead stems in the analysis.
    Finally, we have developed a independent system to help the forest owner and sawmiller to do better business together.

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