LASmoons: Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith (recipient of three LASmoons)
Advanced Diploma in GIS Applications
Vancouver Island University, Victoria, CANADA

Background:
Forestry and natural resource development are a large part of British Columbia’s economy and tourism. BC has some of the largest areas of forest-covered land in Canada, and some of the toughest terrain, which makes it a great place for towering trees and nature lovers. With proper resource management we can help ensure that the forestry sector meets its needs for wood while maintaining its obligations to ecosystem management and land use planning.

lasmoons_andrew_smith_0Goal:
The aim of this project is to assess the efficiency of utilising LiDAR data to develop a more spatially
detailed and accurate classification system of tree species. By identifying key tree species, and
tree populations, we can help forestry companies to be more efficient, and cost effective, allowing them
to have better ecosystem management and land use planning. This will help with harvesting profiles,
cutting schedules, opening size, as well as proper habitat analysis and development in line with
BC Forests and Range Practices Act, which spells out forestry obligations for wildlife management and
habitat creation.

Data:
+ 5 square kilometres of LiDAR data covering BC Coastal Forest on Vancouver island, Canada.
+ Average point density: 37 points per square metre.

LAStools processing:
1)
classify the ground points to create a DTM [lasground]
2) normalize the height the trees. the tallest tree in the sample plot is 70 meters tall [lasheight]
3) generate a Canopy Height Model (CHM) using CHM using the pit-free algorithm from (Khosravipour et. al, 2014) with the workflow described here [lasthin, las2dem, lasgrid]
4) overlay the CHM with high-resolution ortho images to first extract tree species, location and canopy diameter and to then derive tree diameter at breast height (DBH) for all identificatied single trees using Taper equations.

Reference:
Khosravipour, A., Skidmore, A.K., Isenburg, M., Wang, T.J., Hussin, Y.A., 2014. Generating pit-free Canopy Height Models from Airborne LiDAR. PE&RS = Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing 80, 863-872.
BC Forests and Range Practices Act, Forest and Range Evaluation Program Strategic Plan 2011 – 2013 November 8, 2011. http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/ftp/hfp/external/!publish/frep/library/FREP-Strategic-Plan-2011.pdf

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