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LiDAR application in forestry :a brief review and demonstration to BC forestry Wu, Jie


Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a relatively new technology that has brought forestry inventory to a new level. This technology could be applied in terrain topography determination; vegetation structure measurement and stand-level attribute prediction. This essay consists of two major parts, namely an article review regarding LiDAR application in forestry and a project demonstration. The review discusses the LiDAR application specifically in building Digital Elevation Models and tree height measurement. DEM derived from LiDAR possess the advantages of higher spatial resolution and accuracy. In order to obtain a high accuracy, factors such as LiDAR density, spatial resolution, interpolation and other environmental elements need to be considered. With regard to tree height assessment, there are currently two types of applications, respectively tree-level and plot-level. In order to conduct an accurate assessment, appropriate filtering method needs to be selected and this review discusses a prevalent approach, local maxima filtering technique for individual tree filtering. The second part of this essay explains how LiDAR technique is applied to BC forestry. Tree identification and height measurement were conducted based on 0.5m-resolution Canopy Height Model (CHM) produced by Fusion Software. LiDAR-measured tree height was compared with field data based on 30 correctly identified trees and the result implied that 95% of the error was less than ± 0.9m.

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