Estimating forest attributes from spherical images
University of New Brunswick
Forest attribute estimation is fundamental in forest inventory and management, but is often time-consuming and labor intensive using traditional measurement methods. A consumer-level spherical camera (Ricoh Theta S) which can obtain panoramic photos from single exposures controlled by a smart phone, shows great potential to make forest inventories more efficient. In this study, the spherical camera was used in estimating stand basal area, canopy structural fractions, and individual tree diameters and heights. Our results showed good correspondence (high r2 and low rMSE) between image measured values and field measured values in most cases by linear regression. Potential factors which may affect image estimation also were analyzed. We believe this low-cost system could make some contributions to forest operations and more efficient forest management.