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New Software Improves the Maintenance and Management of Forests


June 17, 2011

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Forests could receive better maintenance and management using new software developed by a team at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV). The software is designed to generate maps of forest areas with information on timber volume, biomass, or the height of trees.

UPV researchers created the software to integrate the Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data treatment process from the generation of digital terrain models, feature extraction, and model estimation of forest variables to produce the final maps. The researchers also developed the LiDAR technology used by the software. The position and coordinates of the recorded points are registered, therefore measuring terrain, vegetation, buildings, and other elements in three dimensions, and the final point cloud data can be processed and analyzed for different applications.

"From airborne LiDAR data and software application, we generate maps that can improve knowledge about the evolution of a forest, how its structure and characteristics change, as well as its potential to absorb CO2 and its wood volume," says UPV researcher Luis Angel Ruiz. "All this has positive effects on its maintenance, fire prevention, or sustainable use."

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