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Title Mapping forests with Lidar provides flexible, accurate data with many uses
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Abstract

The use of remote sensing for forest inventory, fire management and wildlife habitat conservation planning has a decades-long and productive history in California. In the 1980s, mappers transitioned from aerial photography to digital remote sensing, in particular Landsat satellite imagery, which still plays a significant role in forest mapping, but today mappers increasingly rely on Lidar analysis. In California, where forests are complex and difficult to accurately map, numerous remote sensing scientists have pioneered development of methodologies for forest mapping with Lidar. Lidar has been used successfully here in a number of ways: to capture forest structure, to map individual trees in forests and critical wildlife habitat characteristics, to predict forest volume and biomass, to develop inputs for forest fire behavior modeling, and to map forest topography and infrastructure. Lidar can be costly to acquire and difficult to analyze, but as costs decline and new data processing methods are developed, it is likely that forest managers who need detailed information on forest structure across large spatial scales will incorporate Lidar data into their mapping toolkits.

Authors
Kelly, Maggi
Director, Statewide IGIS Program, Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist
GIS, remote sensing, landscape ecology, wetlands, deforestation
Di Tommaso, Stefania

Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Date Added Apr 30, 2015
Copyright © The Regents of the University of California
Copyright Year 2015
Description

The powerful mapping capabilities of Lidar soon may be widely available to California forest managers as costs fall and the technology improves.

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