High resolution ortho-imagery can be used as a GIS backdrop to evaluate stocking levels, tree health, and brush competition. Foresters can share the imagery with other professionals to make the best decisions for treatment. The imagery also serves as a permanent record of how the stand looked at a particular point in time. Low elevation, high resolution video can also be a very useful tool for getting a unique perspective of stand development. This is a much more efficient and useful way to evaluate dozens of units compared to visiting every unit and trying to cover each sufficiently. The forester can review the imagery in the office to target problem stands and portions of stands so he can spend his field time with a specific purpose.
The free to grow survey is critical to due diligence. The forester can use the high resolution ortho-imagery to count trees and verify that the stand is indeed fully stocked and free to grow. Another option is to use video to get a subjective view of stocking. Sometimes that is adequate to verify that a stand is truely free to grow.
High resolution ortho-imagery is extremely useful for identifying overstocked stands or portions of stands that need thinning. It is also useful for identifying areas in need of hardwood slashing as hardwoods are easy to identify in the photos. Since the imagery is orthorectified it can be viewed in the GIS and the forester can easily digitize areas in need of treatment and make maps for contractors.
It is very easy to differentiate treated from untreated areas using high resolution imagery. The forester can use the imagery to count residual trees in the case of a post PCT verification and to verify that the contractor covered the entire project area. Pre and post treatment images can be overlaid in the GIS to get a before and after effect.
TimberDrone uses a cloud-based service to count the trees across an entire stand autonomously. A point shapefile is generated which can be used to generate custom reports. This is ideal for 5th year surveys as well as post PCT audits.
This video shows how we can view before and after PCT. Note the automated tree counting at the end.
Drone imagery (video or orthophoto) can be used to verify that the logger fulfilled his contractual agreements with respect to logging cleanup.
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