Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Saturday 26 May 2018

Treemetrics a key advance in the mapping of forested areas

William Merivale

Traditionally, maintaining informative and accurate maps has presented a challenge to foresters.

As the forest grows and the canopy closes, it is increasingly difficult to maintain a picture of the productive area, and frequently the forest manager can only make an informed guess regarding the percentage that is unproductive.

Treemetrics is the first system that integrates satellite imagery with aerial and terrestrial laser scanning, thus allowing accurate mapping of the forest into all categories of productivity.

In partnership with the European Space Agency, they have just announced the development of a new global forest mapping and monitoring product called Forest Mapper.

"The Irish forest industry is entering an exciting phase with the increase in private timber harvesting," said Enda Keane of Treemetrics.

"Forest owners and buyers are now asking key questions about the quality, quantity and value of available timber.

"In addition, forest owners with younger plantations wish to know when their forests will be suitable to harvest."

Treemetrics have developed the system to provide an independent method that also assists the valuation of a forest.

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Utilising the latest satellite images and image analysis software, Mr Keane says they are able to obtain new insights into the quality of the forest.

INFORMATION

The technology enables them to count the individual trees as the crop matures, providing owners, foresters and sawmillers with key planning information to assist in optimum decision making.

Mr Keane says Treemetrics can also assist with the ongoing automated monitoring of the crop.

Forest disturbance caused by storms, disease or even theft can be monitored remotely.

While sample measurements still need to be undertaken on the ground, the system calculates the minimum number of sample plots required and their most suitable locations, thus reducing the cost associated with this operation.

A phone application has been developed with GPS technology to help navigate the forester to the right locations to collect the measurements and the resulting data is automatically sent to the online system where it can be stored and analysed.

Treemetrics will be announcing key partnerships to assist with the roll out of the system nationally and internationally over the coming months, and the company can be contacted at info@treemetrics.com or by phone at 021 7304630.

Irish Independent