Forest inventory using a camera: concept, field implementation and instrument development
University of New Brunswick
This thesis adapts several standard forest mensuration techniques to take advantage of digital photography technology. Using 360-degree panoramic digital photographs we were able to spatially map the locations of sample trees within inventory plots by measuring distance between tree and plot center and azimuth. Additionally, we were able to perform angle count sampling directly from the photographs as well as estimating tree diameters. A ratio estimation technique was also developed to correct plot level estimates of basal area for hidden or obscured trees. Finally we proposed the development of a digital instrument akin to the Spiegelrelaskop and demonstrated how to implement the developed techniques operationally. Results showed that the new techniques are similarly accurate to traditional techniques and could be implemented with a properly developed measurement instrument.