|7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
|7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
|8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
|Technical Plenary: Lidar and Imagery
Moderator: Ron Behrendt, Managing Member, Behron
Managing Natural Resources with Lidar at the USDA Forest Service
Brent Mitchell, Lidar Specialist, USDA Forest Service
Within the last decade lidar technology has been increasingly utilized as a tool for resource management by the U.S. Forest Service. The agency has been engaged in a wide variety of lidar projects and applications ranging from the development and exploration of basic lidar derivatives to pursuing advanced modeling of forest inventory parameters based on lidar canopy metrics. This presentation will provide an overview of how Forest Service land management objectives are being addressed through lidar technology and discuss considerations and issues that are unique to applying lidar technology to forest resource management.
Obtained a Bachelor in Forest Science from the University of Georgia in 1998 and Completed a Masters in Remote Sensing at the University of New South Wales, Australia in 2006. Currently acting as a Lidar Specialist and Training Group Leader for the Remote Sensing Evaluation, Applications and Training Program at the Forest Service’s Remote Sensing Applications Center located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Using LIDAR Data, Imagery and Automated Feature Extraction (AFE) for Forestry Applications
Jonathan Gale, Forestry, Overwatch Systems
With an ever increasing availability of high resolution imagery products, the forestry professional is in a unique position to harness the power of automated feature extraction (AFE) and modeling to rapidly collect valuable information from their data. AFE can be used on many levels, it can be used as a one button solution for extracting tree crown points, to compute stand density and volume, or it can be used to simulate, model and assess complex situations such as wild land fire events. This discussion will explore some of the ways in which AFE and ArcGIS can benefit the forestry community by saving time and automating workflows that create valuable industry standard products.
Jonathan Gale is a GIS and Remote Sensing professional working as a Solution Engineer for Overwatch Systems Ltd in Missoula, Montana.
Practical Lidar Applications for Plantation Forest Management Using ArcGIS
Mark Norris-Rogers, GIS/Remote Sensing Specialist, Mondi (South Africa)
Mondi Ltd, an international forestry, pulp and paper company recently acquired its first lidar data set over a portion of its plantation forest area in South Africa. Due in part to the significant investment required to perform the lidar acquisition, maximum value needed to be extracted to justify the expense and quickly demonstrate to management the value of this form of remote sensing.. As Mondi utilizes ArcGIS as one of its core management information systems, it was opportune to use ArcGIS to process the lidar data to derive products that would aid Forest Managers in their work. After performing some basic QC on the lidar data, procedures and workflows were designed and documented for the creation of bare ground Digital Elevation Models (DEMs); first return Digital Surface Models (DSMs); Canopy Height Models (CHMs) and similar products that would be of value to forest managers. Results from these products improved road and stand delineation, slope class determination; and provided stand tree heights. Results were published using Esri’s new ArcGIS Online services allowing quick and easy dissemination of the information derived. The results from this project demonstrate how quickly and easily useful forest management information can be extracted from lidar data using standard ArcGIS tools and functionality.
Scalable, Esri Integrated Image Processing Solutions for Natural Resources Management
Vasu Pillalamarri, Esri Business Partner Manager, PCI
Imagery is essential to GIS, and a critical component for Natural Resources Management. Esri and PCI Geomatics, supported by MDA and RapidEye, have implemented the Imagery Grant Program that is providing imagery, software, and training to 24 natural resources organizations. An update on the status of the program will be presented – innovative methods and projects will be carried out to harness information and knowledge from imagery through the Imagery Grant Program’s implementation. Best practices will also be highlighted by showcasing projects that have been completed using PCI technology for projects of differing scales.
Connecting the Dots: Lidar and ArcGIS in Action
Kevin Lim, President, Lim Geomatics (Canada)
Nick Gralewicz, GIS Developer, Lim Geomatics (Canada)
This lightning talk will provide a demonstration of AFRIDS, which is a web-based application that was developed using ArcGIS Server and the ArcGIS API for Flex. AFRIDS displays spatially explicit lidar forest inventories and enables users to extract statistics (i.e., a mean estimate with confidence interval) for a suite of forest inventory variables (e.g., DBH, net merchantable volume, aboveground biomass) for planned stands and operational harvest blocks drawn on-the-fly, in addition to the recovery of volume and density by size class (i.e., diameter distributions). New functionality related to routing transportation and water crossing calculations will be showcased.
Comparing Color and Color-Infrared in 4-Band Imagery
David Shear, President, Eagle Digital Imaging
4-band (or 4-channel) images add a near-infrared band to the three standard color bands (red, green, and blue). When displaying a 4-band image you must decide which image band is fed to which of the three display channels. Selecting the three color bands provides a true color view, while selecting the green, red, and near-infrared provides the color-infrared view. ArcGIS enables you to load a 4-band image and set it up as both color and color-infrared, and then flicker between the two. This is extremely valuable for seeing subtle differences when trying to type trees: Differences that are difficult to see in color can sometimes be obvious in color-infrared and vice versa. Although you can see only three bands of an image at once, ArcGIS allows you to take advantage of all the bands of a 4-band image, making it much easier to see the differences among tree types.
Weyerhaeuser’s Grande Prairie Forest Management Area
Vashti Dunham, Operations Forester, Weyerhaeuser (Canada)
Weyerhaeuser’s Grande Prairie Forest Management Area (FMA) covers approximately 1.2 million hectares in northwestern Alberta, Canada. Recent operational forest plans have been based on a photo-interpreted vegetation inventory (completed in 2004), which did not provide the desired level of detail or accuracy for gross volume per hectare or stand height.
Weyerhaeuser was able to access lidar data coverage for the entire FMA (flown between 2003 and 2008), and initiated a project with Lim Geomatics to develop stand models to link the existing network of permanent sample plots (PSP’s) to the lidar data to provide significantly better predictions for gross volume, height and wood size.
The final product was a web-based application running off ArcGIS server which provided a quick and simple way for harvest supervisors to:
- draw in or load a shapefile of their planned blocks,
- view the block along with roads, hydrology, orthophotos and hillshade
- calculate gross merchantable volume, stand height, and wood size distribution
- export data to a shapefile, excel table or pdf report
Preliminary results show volume estimates are generally within the 10% of the scaled volume delivered from the cutblock, and that the lidar-based models underestimate the block volume, particularly in areas with steep slopes or marginally merchantable stands. Further validation of the models will be carried out in April 2013, after the 2012/13 cutblocks have been post-harvest gps’d and the harvested volume has been hauled to the mill. Some of the factors limiting the accuracy of the current models are: tree growth since the lidar was flown, inaccuracy of the geo-referenced center point of some of the PSP’s, and that the lidar was flown over a period of years and in different seasons.
Future steps will include further testing of the current model, and adjustments to account for growth since lidar acquisition, and to improve volume predictions on steep slopes and marginal ground.
Vashti graduated from the University of Alberta in 1999 with a B.Sc. in Forest Business Management. After graduation, she worked for the Alberta Forest Service, primarily in forest health, forest fire operations, industry approvals and community timber programs. In 2005, she started with Weyerhaeuser Grande Prairie, and has worked in silviculture, planning and harvest supervision, roles with a strong component of GIS work and data collection and management.
The Esri and Exelis Lidar Grant Program
Kristen Maglia, Director, Exelis
Lidar for Mapping Shallow Rivers and Riparian Vegetation
Russ Faux, Co-CEO, Watershed Sciences
A new suite of commercial small-footprint, green (532 nm) wavelength airborne LiDAR systems are being developed to enable topo-bathymetric mapping in coastal and riverine environments. These sensors can provide seamless topography across the land-water interface at very high spatial resolution. In addition, the green wavelength LiDAR has potential to improve forest and riparian vegetation analysis when acquired in conjunction with traditional near-infrared (1064 nm) wavelength LiDAR. Watershed Sciences, Inc. (WSI), Corvallis, OR in collaboration with Reigl USA, conducted a study of the Riegl VQ-820-G airborne hydrographic LiDAR for mapping several rivers in the Pacific Northwest. We will provide a brief overview of the results of our tests using this state-of-the-art technology.
Russell Faux is founder and Co-CEO of Watershed Sciences, Inc. (WSI) based in Corvallis, Oregon. Mr. Faux manages a talented technical staff with a focus acquisition, processing, and feature extraction from high resolution airborne LiDAR data and spectral imagery. Mr. Faux serves on the board of the Precision Forestry Cooperative and holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Penn State, and an M.S. in Bioresource Engineering from Oregon State University.
|8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
|10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
|10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
|Enterprise Forest Management Systems
Moderator: Mark Williams, Project Manager, Esri; Tim Clark, Solutions Engineer, Land and Natural Resources Team, Esri
Lessons Learned as the Result of 30 Years of GIS Development
Allen Brackley, Research Forester, PNW Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service
The author took delivery of ArcInfo V1 in June of 1983. At the time, he had degrees in forestry and forest products. Given added effort he had training in computer science (programming and data structures). He also had extensive forestry experience, some gained as a youth working as a woods laborer in a family logging company, as well as 15 years as a supervisory Industrial Forester managing harvesting on 250,000 acres of forest land. Simultaneously, he had secondary responsibly for development of general purpose forest inventory and mensurational systems. The inventory package resulting from this effort is still in use today. This work provided experience with the semi-automated managerial information and accounting systems for wood procurement, land and income taxation, land related information, and exposed him to the concepts of sustainable forestry. Few forestry graduates had exposure to the computer based spatial data and the new product referred to as Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Given his unique background that combined a basic understanding of the information needs of a forestry enterprise and computer science, he accepted the job as Manager of GIS. His vision, however, was not of GIS, but rather a Land Related Information and Management System for a forestry enterprise. Early on he discovered that many forestry firms, some of his employers, employees, and peers wanted to focus on the problems at hand as an exercise in map automation with a limited vision of the future. This presentation will focus on the basic principles, ideas, and actions he applied, many of which are still valid today, to prepare for a future where decisions would be made based on data, as opposed to speculation.
Web Apps to Share Statewide Forest Information
Brad Barber, FRD GIS Coordinator, Texas A&M Forest Service
The Sustainable Forestry Department of Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) is charged with providing up-to-date information about the forest resources and benefits of those resources to the citizens of Texas. In particular, the agency satisfies numerous requests from forest industry and land developers regarding the distribution, volume and extent of timber resources for potential economic development. Traditionally these requests have been serviced by providing individual custom economic analysis reports developed by TFS staff. Leveraging existing agency technical investments in the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal, the Forest Resource Development department embarked on the development of a web mapping and reporting web site to satisfy this increasing demand for information about Texas forests. Entitled, the Texas Forest Information Portal, or TxFIP, the site provides landowners, managers, government officials, local community groups and private industry, access to information about trees and forest lands across the state.
TxFIP is comprised of a main web portal site that provides access to custom web mapping applications with capabilities to discover and explore an array of maps depicting forest conditions, including the ability to query and download data and reports on a variety of forest interests. TxFIP provides apps for timber supply analysis, biomass potential, forest distribution and ecosystem services. The portal was designed to facilitate expansion as new demands and apps are developed. TFS works closely with DTS (Fort Collins, CO) to satisfy development requirements for the department based on an agency-wide GIS implementation plan. Future applications are planned for urban tree canopy and Texas Tree Trails, both of which will be geared to people seeking information about trees in urban and residential areas. The majority of the presentation will focus on a live demonstration to share details on the site's architecture, capabilities and information.
ArcGIS Online to Maximize Urban Forest Assessments
Richard Thurau, Principal Geospatial Scientist, Plan-It Geo
Managers often face several challenges when attempting to update and maintain tree inventories given the large number of community groups and individuals involved with tree planting. Desktop GIS applications face many challenges for managing tree inventory data. Namely; (1) Existing inventory points represent a single point in time based on data available at the time of analysis, (2) reference layers for mapping inventory points may be static in both scale and time and must be copied to allow multiple users to share common views, (3) manipulating inventory data in specific areas requires technical GIS know-how, and (4) sharing of assessment results directly with other interested parties requires transferring large files and datasets. ESRI’s ArcGIS online (AGOL) offers an innovative, interactive, and cost effective platform for posting, sharing, and editing geospatial data. UTC assessment and prioritized tree planting results were posted to Plan-It Geo’s AGOL web-mapping service to demonstrate the advantages of sharing across the web. Users were allowed to; (1) Query and edit existing forest inventory trees, (2) add newly planted (or hypothesized) inventory trees using ESRI’s mobile application and AGOL interface and (3) share results with other users. AGOL users were qualitatively surveyed to assess the overall experience of using Plan-It Geo’s customized map templates in the AGOL environment and feedback regarding ease of use and sharing of data results.
Attendees of this presentation will learn some of the flexibility of building custom AGOL templates, how to add data points to an AGOL map using ESRI’s mobile application, and how to edit and query data in the AGOL environment. Recommendations from survey results will be shared with the audience to highlight common pitfalls from experiences using a customized AGOL application.
Stewardship Mapping Made Easy – Get SMART
Chris Gerecke, Director of Enterprise Solutions, Timmons Group
This presentation will focus on the United States Forest Service's Stewardship Mapping and Reporting Tool (SMART) tool. The presentation will cover building an enterprise application to meet the reporting needs of a diverse group of users (in this case – all 50 states and associated territories). It will highlight several mechanisms of reporting including a web application, desktop application (for disconnected use cases), a developer interface for custom application integration (API), and a data upload tool. SMART fills the need for a national Stewardship geospatial data repository that supports consistent and accurate reporting of accomplishments across the landscape. SMART provides a user-friendly, feature-rich Plan creation and management tool for its user base.
GIS as a System at Latvian State Forests
Maris Kuzmins, Title, Latvian State Forests (Latvia)
JSC "Latvian State Forests" is responsible for more than a half of Latvia`s forests (1,6 million ha), and is using a GIS system in each stage of forest management. Our GIS system "GEO" is a perfect example of a centralized GIS solution that consists of ArcGIS Desktop, WEB and Mobile applications. The system is used by 500 users every day, and each user group is provided with the specific set of data and functionality they require for everyday duties. GIS as a system helped our organization to improve speed of data flow, increase data integrity, data quality and accuracy. We have managed to establish a continuous flow of information from the field, up to central database and on to the ERP systems and logistics system. This also gives us an opportunity to monitor and analyze the data in every stage. Creating this system (in particular mobile applications), gave us a chance not to use outsourcing for forest inventory and planning of cutting areas. At the moment we have about 150 feature classes in our database, and only half of them are managed by professional GIS specialists that uses ArcGIS Desktop (mostly for maintaining compartment inventory and associated data sets). The other half is managed by users that use mobile and WEB applications and these two are used by regular foresters who have only finished a simple training. This means that our system must be sophisticated under the hood, in order to be simple to use for everyday user. The System is not only a great example of "GIS as System", but also an example of how a GIS system can be adjusted for a wide range of particular tasks and significant number of non-professional GIS users. We believe we have amassed experience and found solutions that can be useful for other participants of the forest industry.
Real Time Situational Awareness for Wildfires Across the Nation
Clint Cross, Regional Fuels Specialist, USDA Forest Service
With climate change and increasing drought in many areas of the Nation, wildfires continue to increase in frequency and severity. Forestry agencies at the federal, state and local level are all charged with fire protection planning, incident response and suppression and ensuring public safety. However, with fires occurring across multiple jurisdictions and ownerships it is difficult for fire professionals to easily obtain situational awareness about current conditions, active incidents and agency prescribed burns. In response to this demand for up-to-date information about active wildfires, DTS (Fort Collins, CO) has developed a single web site that tracks active wildfires. WildfireMaps.com provides interactive maps and incident information about current wildfires anywhere in the Nation. The site integrates data from a variety of sources providing a single dashboard to keep the public and fire agencies updated on where fires are occurring, and what current status is. WildfireMaps.com provides general information about wildfire locations and status using a simple web mapping application available free to the public. To address more detailed requirements of government agencies and private industry, the site provides a suite of advanced capabilities, including incident alert notifications, fire spread simulation, and automated impact analysis, using a subscription SaaS approach.
The US Forest Service, Southern Region has recently selected WildfireMaps.com as the application to track wildfire incidents across the South. Customization has occurred to regularly harvest data from key government systems and integrate this data into easy to use web and mobile applications. In addition, state agencies are providing their fire data to augment the federal sources.
This presentation will demonstrate WildfireMaps.com focusing on data integration, implementation architecture and plans for future enhancements. A review of future requirement and benefits will be provided.
|10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
|Data Integration and Management
Moderator: Sinam Al-Khafaji, Team Lead for Land & Natural Resources, Esri; Rebecca Seago-Coyle, Project Manager, Esri
GIS Data Integration and Management
Deborah Sheeler, GIS Supervisor, Davey Resource Group
While Geographic Information Systems provide an array of problem-solving solutions in traditional forestry applications, they also offer great advancements in assessing the health and integrity of urban forestry ecosystems that was once not possible. Spatial patterns of urban forests are closely linked with general zoning/land use categories and are under constant pressure from urban development. Until recently, urban forests were vastly underappreciated in terms of their value because their impacts were difficult to quantify. Due to introduced efforts to preserve and increase urban forests through federal and state grants, the emphasis on these ecosystems has been brought to forefront of today’s environmental concerns.
By using GIS to analyze spatial data, urban forestry managers are able to make more informed decisions about the health of their trees and city as a whole. To solve the problems associated with today’s urban environments, GIS is used to conduct tree inventories and urban tree canopy assessments in additional to focused environmental analyses such as storm water management, forest fragmentation, resource assessments, urban heat islands, and ecosystem benefits. Analysis of current land cover datasets allows for urban planners to set goals and regulations regarding their urban tree canopy. As a case study, the City of Roseville, California is located in the Sacramento Valley in Central California and has a progressive urban forestry program. In 2012, the City initiated development of an Urban Forest Master Plan. The Plan, intended to increase sustainability and the environmental benefits of tree canopy, will guide their urban forest planning and operations over the next 25 years.
A Simple Spatial Approach to Land Records
Tucker Alley, GIS & Land Records Manager, Resource Management Service
In 2006, as a part of the acquisition of more than 4.2 million acres of forestland, Resource Management Service, LLC (RMS) contracted the plotting of each legal description into a GIS data set. This enabled the GIS contractor to identify potential description issues and gave RMS the tools need to review the potential issues and address them with the seller, title company and attorneys.
Upon closing, the data set became the foundation for a centralized digital land records system. RMS currently utilizes the system to maintain land records data on 2.8 million acres of forestland spread over nine states and managed by twelve field offices.
The initial system enabled field foresters and corporate users to access and maintain the digital land records data in a centralized database. Access to the data was provided though a custom ArcEngine application which allowed the users, mostly field foresters to retrieve needed documents spatially. The application provided basic GIS visualization tools, simple map production and the ability to open documents related to a selected property polygon. All users also had the ability to load new documents into the centralized SQL/SDE database through a drag and drop operation. All documents were stored within a BLOB field in the database. This greatly simplified backup and disaster recovery of all the data including the documents as compared to a file based system. Administrators of the data utilized ArcMap to maintain and perform analysis on the data that was beyond the scope of the custom ArcEngine application. A custom ArcMap add-in was written to allow for the loading and opening of documents stored in the database.
RMS recently enhanced the design of the database utilizing the Attachment functionality introduced in ArcMap 10. These enhancements have reduced the need for custom programming and expanded the ability to provide access to the data. RMS still utilizes the custom ArcEngine application for general field user access to the data, but administrators can now access the data through core ArcGIS functionality without the need for a custom add-in. The data can now also be exported using distributed GeoDatabase tools and accessed by anyone with access to ArcMap 10.x. This allows RMS to provide a fully functional export from the database to purchasers of large dispositions. The database schema is also shared with contractors performing due diligence work on acquisitions. All data can be quickly checked into the central GeoDatabase using core Check in/Checkout tools.
By utilizing this relatively simple digital land records system RMS has been able to provide one centralized set of land records data to all stakeholders, reduce storage cost, improve efficiency, reduce risk and increase data security.
Tucker Alley is currently the GIS and Land Records Manager with Resource Management Service, LLC. Tucker is a registered forester with 18 years of experience in industrial forest management, including field operations, GIS project management, harvest scheduling, and systems management and development.
Better Data Management Leads to Better Decision Making
Mark Milligan, President, F4 Tech
St. Joe owns over 560,000 acres in Florida. During challenging economic times, St. Joe needed to find ways to make their forest inventory and planning processes more efficient, thereby allowing for better business decisions. In early 2011, St. Joe managers embarked on a project to improve their forest inventory process, and leverage their Esri GIS database using improved processes and tools such as SilvAssist. The result is that better data is being acquired and utilized, the process from data collection to decision making is streamlined and business decisions are being carried out with more confidence and clarity that before.
Mark Milligan, President: Mark founded F4 Tech in 1998. He developed and secured a U.S. patent for Real-Time Inventory (RTI). In addition to running the company with the other owners, Mark is heavily engaged in securing and developing business for the Consulting division. Mark has an MBA from Florida State University and a B.S. in Forest Management from Louisiana State University.
Manage Image Acquisition to Lower Costs and Level Budgets using ArcGIS
David Shear, President, Eagle Digital Imaging
A common problem when using images for forestry operations is having up-to-date images of your areas of interest at an acceptable cost. Usually, the entire ownership is flown only every 3–5 years to reduce costs, so that by the end of the cycle you are using images that are out of date. By using ArcGIS, it is possible to define only those areas that have changed and therefore need new images. ArcGIS tools can also manage a cyclical coverage of parts of the entire ownership in order to level yearly budgets, instead of incurring a very large cost every few years. These two concepts can be combined to create an efficient and cost-effective method of maintaining your aerial imagery. You will have recent images of all changed areas, and the entire ownership will be covered by images no older than a predetermined number of years. ArcGIS enables this improved approach, as it would be too complex to manually define the required areas to image, describe these areas to a provider, and then manage the delivered images. This presentation will describe how to use ArcGIS tools to create the section layers and associated data (such as stand-planting year and year of most-recent imaging) to implement efficient image management. It will also show how to use ArcGIS to create the shape file of the sections that need to be flown for a particular year or other imaging period. These shape files can then be sent to a vendor to acquire images within the time window you specify. A real-world example of how this has been successfully implemented over a multi-year period will also be presented. Using ArcGIS tools to manage image acquisition provides many advantages. It allows you keep your aerial imagery and associated GIS layers current at a reduced cost, and smooth your yearly image acquisition budgets. And you have surgical control over where and when you get images of each section while ensuring that no section is older than the maximum number of years you specify.
Automated Plat Creation at Weyerhaeuser
Corrin Crawford, Director of IT & Land Records, Weyerhaeuser
Automating the plat and ownership creation process at Weyerhaeuser for a multi-state area has resulted in an enormous ROI benefit of substantially reduced labor costs over manually created and maintained plat maps. Five fewer staff members are now required to maintain the organization's data. The cost of maintaining legal ownership information becomes much more manageable in a digital environment when ownership changes can be automatically mapped, annotated, tracked and documented in an organized manner. In addition, properly structured topological data prevents gaps and overlaps in the GIS data which can be problematic when calculating acreages or producing maps. The goal was to have a system capable of generating plat maps quickly and easily, that would replace the old manual system, and would be easy to update. This goal has been achieved over a project life span of several years and is expandable to cover new areas of interest.
|12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
|8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Technical Support Desk
The Technical Support Island is staffed with experts where you can talk one-to-one with Esri staff. They can answer your questions, collect your feedback, help you navigate your challenges, and share best practices with you. In addition, you can see live demos of user community resources, such as the ArcGIS Ideas website, the GIS wiki etc.
Make an appointment or walk in anytime during the conference.
|2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
|Lidar for Forest Management
Moderator: Moderator: Ron Behrendt, Managing Member, Behron
Introduction to Lidar and Forestry
Ron Behrendt, Managing Member, Behron
This session will provide a “lidar 101” introduction to the technology including fundamentals of how the sensors operate, data characteristics, the creation of derivative information products from lidar point clouds, and examples of possible forestry applications.
Ron Behrendt is the principal and current managing director of the consulting firm Behron LLC. Over the past eight years, Ron has focused on applying lidar technology to numerous applications such as the management of electric transmission lines and assisting with forest production and conservation activities. Ron is currently assisting Esri identify opportunities to utilize the capabilities of ArcGIS to obtain the maximum value from the information available within lidar data.
For 15 years prior to starting Behron LLC, Ron was one of the founding members and the President and CEO of Positive Systems, Inc., an industry leader in the development and use of digital aerial photography systems.
Multi-Scale Forest Characterization from Airborne Lidar and Imagery
Mischa Hey, Research and Development, Watershed Sciences
High resolution airborne lidar and imagery used in conjunction with field survey plots has potential to increase both efficiency and accuracy of forest inventory over traditional field survey methods alone. Effective application of remote sensing data to forest inventory across large extents requires an understanding of the specific relationships and spatial associations between traditional field-based forestry metrics and metrics derived from airborne lidar and imagery. Watershed Sciences Inc. (WSI) will present methodologies and results from a spatially explicit, multi-scale characterization of two predominantly coniferous forests in OR and ID. Through application of Object-Based-Image-Analysis (Blaschke, 2010) and Random Forest Analysis (Breiman, 2001), metrics derived from airborne lidar and imagery were used to develop predictive models for traditional forestry metrics recorded in the field. Field plots were used for model training and independent validation. Results indicate that significant and useful correlations exist between metrics derived from airborne surveys and those recorded in the field. Models for metrics describing height and volume had the highest predictive accuracies while models describing trunk diameter had the lowest. Specific accuracies for each modeled metric, as well as strengths and weakness of the applied techniques, will be discussed in detail.
Mischa started working for WSI in Corvallis 7 years ago after leaving the Nature Conservancy in SC. His principle interest has been application of remote sensing data to forestry and wildlife habitat modeling. He was introduced to Object-Based-Image-Analysis during his graduate work and has been applying OBIA techniques to vegetation characterization from LiDAR for the last few years. Mischa holds a B.S. Natural Resource Conservation from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a M.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from University of Vermont- Spatial Analysis Laboratory (SAL).
Operational Forest Inventories with Lidar
Jacob Strunk, Forest Biometrician, AeroMetric
Greg Tilley, VP of Business Development, AeroMetric
The application of lidar in forest management has been the subject of numerous and promising studies. Yet to most forest managers, lidar remains a complex and expensive fringe technology and has not been widely adopted for routine forest inventories. This presentation examines methodologies that allow lidar to be employed cost effectively in concert with traditional field methods. Examples of the application of these methodologies to real commercial forest management operations are reviewed. The findings indicate that a carefully implemented lidar enhanced inventory can be performed at costs that are comparable to a conventional inventory by using statistically-derived reductions in the number of required field plots. Moreover, the lidar solution has the added benefit of high precision mapped estimates of volume, BA and other forest metrics in addition to canopy height and bare earth models. Achievement of optimal results with lidar requires careful balancing of a number of variables, including the number and location of field plots, lidar point density, sampling techniques and the statistical modeling approach. This presentation presents real operational advantages of incorporating lidar into forest inventories, without adding cost or complexity.
Mapping Forest Inventory Parameters Using Lidar
Brent Mitchell, Lidar Specialist, USDA Forest Service
Understanding forest structure and how it is affected by management practices and natural events is a critical part of managing natural resources within the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Pinaleño Mountains of southeastern Arizona represent a Madrean sky island ecosystem and the last remaining habitat for the Mt. Graham red squirrel. This unique ecosystem is threatened by a general shift in species composition and forest structure as well as by high severity fires and insect infestations. Due to these factors, the Coronado National Forest has implemented a forest restoration effort using lidar (light detection and ranging) as a tool for identifying habitat and cataloging forest inventory variables at a landscape level by building regression models between forest inventory parameters measured on field plots and their associated lidar canopy metrics. The resulting GIS inventory layers were qualitatively validated with local experts and conformed well to trends known to occur on the landscape. This presentation will highlight the appropriate field data collection protocols and data integration techniques when the ultimate goal is combining field and lidar data to create forest structure GIS models.
Brent obtained a Bachelor in Forest Science from the University of Georgia in 1998 and completed a Masters in Remote Sensing at the University of New South Wales, Australia in 2006. Currently acting as a Lidar Specialist and Training Group Leader for the Remote Sensing Evaluation, Applications and Training Program at the Forest Service’s Remote Sensing Applications Center located in Salt Lake City, UT.
Interact with the Experts: Lidar Roundtable
Join this lively discussion with industry experts on all things lidar. Bring your toughest lidar forestry questions and learn from your peers during this interactive session with lidar data providers and users from industry and government.
Ron Behrendt, Managing Member, Behron
Brent Mitchell, Lidar Specialist, USDA Forest Service
Kevin Lim, President, Lim Geomatics
Mischa Hey, Research and Development, Watershed Sciences
Jason Struck, Forest Biometrician and Statistician, AeroMetric
|2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
|Modeling, Optimization and Analysis
Moderator: Tim Clark, Solutions Engineer, Land and Natural Resources Team, Esri
The Development of Long-term Biomass Harvest Scheduling Scenarios for Alternative Energy Production
Kenneth Stumpf, Director, Resource Management Applications, Geographic Resource Solutions
For many small isolated communities in Alaska biomass is considered a potential alternative source of heating and energy. The determination of the feasibility of changing fossil-fuels based energy production to biomass based energy production must consider the inventory of local biomass, forest growth projections, and the sustainability of long-term plans. In addition, one must consider the constraints upon harvest and transportation of the biomass, environmental regulations, and the costs of procurement. The integration of the different data sets that represent the inventory, harvest units, landscape characteristics, environmental constraints, accessibility, cost, land ownership is a natural application of the GIS. Data may be easily related, processed, reported, and mapped to provide information significant to the determination of a project's feasibility. Data sets can be accessed by growth and harvest scheduling applications to generate modeled results, in terms of biomass, acres harvested, reforestation needs, and associated costs over long-term (100-year) planning periods. Modeled harvest projection scenarios were developed for five different harvest options that represented different management approaches. Modeled results were easily stored in the GIS and represented relative to input constraints and variables to provide visual results of the modeled harvest scenarios.
Optimizing Terrain Transport in Forestry Using GIS
Isabelle Bergkvist, Program Manager, Skogforsk (Sweden)
There is a great challenge in the forestry to minimize damage to soil and water. The key is improved planning through smart applications of GIS Skogforsk has created a decision tool for digital planning of the forestry. In the project we used the Esri product ArcGIS together with a high resolution Digital Terrain Model (DTM) to find the best logging-roads. The DTM is used to extract and built different digital layers, for example elevation, DTW (depth to water map) and degree of slope as well as aspect. In addition we create a layer with "no go areas" where all type of driving should be avoided concerning nature conservation and cultural heritage. The map layers are divided into 4x4 m pixels which get a value 1-5 according to logging conditions. Eventually the optimizing tool in ArcGIS is used to find the best logging-roads concerning both ecological and economic factors.
Geospatial Analysis of Forest Logging Moratorium: Past, Present, and Future
Princewill Odum, University of Calabar (Nigeria)
The Cross River Forest is the largest and remaining rain forest representing about 60% of the entire remaining rain forest in Nigeria. The Government of Cross River State placed a logging moratorium four years ago as a commitment to a reform agenda aimed at effective and sustainable management of forest resources in a way that would be beneficial citizens and the state. Remote sensing and GIS is serving as a veritable tool to spatial analysis of Cross River State Forest. In this paper, image management, classification, and analysis are done to find out the effect of the moratorium on the state of Cross River State forest resources before, during and even after the moratorium. GIS analysis helped to solve the problem of quantifying and reporting the effect of government policy (such as moratorium) with a view to encourage further conservation of forest resources as a means to preventing global warming. Remote sensing and GIS advantage is the rapid representation of analysis which cannot be done by any other means. The image was classified to delineate forest on multi-temporal bases. The output was digitized into a shapefile and necessary overlay was done to visually represent the changes in forest resources over the period. The findings show that before the moratorium, forest resources was depleting at alarming. With the moratorium in place, forest resource is conserved with higher carbon stock and biodiversity conservation. It is projected that the forest resource will improve significantly in stock and quantity if logging is controlled.
Growth Model Development Using Spatial Climatic and Topographic Indices
Moonil Kim, Korea University (Korea)
We developed a radial growth model by considering topographic and climatic factors and used it to predict the spatial distribution of 4 major tree species in South Korea. The model was developed using growth data obtained from 25,352 individual trees at 2,400 National Forest Inventory permanent plots. Because radial growth is attributed to tree age, a radial growth model was first developed using tree age as the explanatory variable. Thereafter, standard growth, defined as the radial growth at a tree age of 30 years, was derived to eliminate tree age effect on radial growth. Further, variogram analysis showed spatial autocorrelation between SG and climatic factors, suggesting that SG could be explained using regional variables, such as climatic factors. We then modeled SG as a generalized additive model using warmth index, precipitation effectiveness index, and topography wetness index.
Using the GAM, we predicted that the future (2047–2056) climate would negatively influence the radial growths of P. densiflora, L. kaempferi, and P. koraiensis and positively influence that of Quercus spp. Further, higher sensitivity to climate factors was observed for radial growth of coniferous trees than that of Quercus spp. Thus, the developed models will aid in understanding the impact of climate factors on tree growth and in predicting the distributional changes of major tree species based on climate change in South Korea.
Land Surface Temperature and Normalized Difference Index Products
Hangnan Yu, Korea University (Korea)
Desertification monitoring as a main portion for studying desertification process have been conducted by many scientists, however, the stage of research still in the comparison of past and current situation. In other words, monitoring need to concern methods how to take precautions against desertification. In this study, an approach is named vegetation temperature condition index (VTCI), which derived from normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and Land surface Temperature (LST) was utilized to observe distribution change of vegetation. The index can be used to monitor drought occurrences at a regional level for a special period of a year, and can be also used to study the spatial distribution of drought within the region. Techniques of remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) were combined to detect the distribution change of vegetation with VTCI. As a result, we found that the distribution of vegetation in Bulgan, Mongolia could be predicted in a certain degree, using VTCI. Although desertification is a complicated process and many factors could affect the result. However, this study is helpful for provide a strategic guidance to fighting desertification and adjusts the use of the labor force.
GIS-Based Estimation of Climate Change Effects on the National Forests
Arnaldo Ferrerira, Geneticist, USDA Forest Service
According to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the estimated increase in Mean annual temperatures in California could reach up to 10 o F (5.6 o C) by the end of the century. This increase will lead to an unprecedented climatic condition nonexistent for the last 2 million years in the region. The level of estimated changes in climatic patterns will certainly affect the fitness and natural distribution of the tree species in our forests. This study first describes a GIS-based procedure to estimate the effective planting base for all nineteen National Forests in California. Then it integrates GIS climate models to predict shifts in the natural distribution of tree species that comprises the reforestation efforts of conifers and mixed-conifers forest types in the region. A spline model of climate for the Western United States from the RMRS Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory was used to obtain the GIS feature classes for mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP) used to determine shifts in the planting base. These shifts have been identified for the different Major Forest Types (CalVeg Classes) used for the Forest Service reforestation and conservation guidelines. A better understanding of how climate change would alter the Forest Service’s effective planting area will assist foresters in optimizing resource allocation and introduction of better adapted tree populations to minimize the effects of possible climate changes in the long-term forest health.
|2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
|Field Mobility Solutions
Moderator: Michael Berzinis, Esri Forestry, Esri
Offline Mobile Editing for iOS and Android with ArcGIS Online
Matt Sheehan, Principal, WebMapSolutions
The new mobile tablets and smartphones now available offer exciting new possibilities in the field of forestry. Rather than replace traditional mobile solutions, they offer the opportunity to both widen the reach of mobile tools, and simplify workflows. In this presentation we will discuss the use of Apple and Android mobile technology for field work. Leveraging ArcGIS Online we will demonstrate mobile apps which work in both online and offline modes for use in forestry.
Juniper Aspect Field Mapping Solutions
Scott Hunter, Natural Resources Account Manager, Juniper Systems
Juniper Aspect is a robust mobile mapping solution designed specifically for field crew professionals who want to easily collect quality GIS data without the difficulty and overhead of more complex mapping software packages. Designed with flexibility and customization in mind, Juniper Aspect allows users to easily create beautiful mobile GIS projects using terminology that makes sense to field crews. The methods presented will allow GIS experts to analyze and present data instead of spending time training field crews.
GIS & Mobility for Forestry Management
Niva Vilela, CEO, INFLOR
AMATA Company is creating a new way of planning and practicing forestry and logging, prioritizing the forest continuum. Using analytical tools, GIS and Mobility, INFLOR is helping AMATA in the use of technologies and methods to generate positive results in the economic, social and environmental spheres.
Taking your data off the GRID
Austin Mulder, VP Technology, NeoTreks
NeoTreks GRID is a GIS field tool based on the ArcGIS mobile SDK that allows for the sharing of geospatial data between office and field work. Take your proprietary or commercial mapping content off the grid with the tap of a finger. Cache basemaps, tiled or dynamic web services and shapefiles to your mobile device for use in areas of limited or no cellular service. Make field observations, record locations, take measurements and more. Perfect for forestry applications in remote locations.
|4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
|4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
||The Road Ahead: ArcGIS 10.2
|5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
||Hands-On Workshop Debriefing
|6:00 p.m.– 9:00 pm
||Networking Reception - Hosted by Orbis, Inc.