Trends Summer 2018 - Page 4

Aspen Down dead Hardwood Impervious / bare land Open ( grass / short shrub ) Pin cherry Water / shadows This cluster of imagery shows further examples of the data ; the legend depicts what the colors represent .
capture the aerial imagery as the aspens started to differentiate from the maples and other deciduous trees , and potentially collect data again in the spring to identify pin cherry from aspen ,” Derringer said .
A key piece of the project involved collecting “ training data ” and developing algorithms within the software to help recognize and properly identify each specific type of tree MTE was interested in analyzing . “ In any remote sensing-type project where high-accuracy data is required to develop a specific action plan , you want to have some ground truthing data to both train and test your data ,” Derringer explained . “ For this project , we went out into the field to get data on key species such as pin cherry , maple , and aspen , and then we supplemented that with oblique imagery over the site for another perspective . Some of the data collected was used in our software
routines to help us understand what we ’ re looking at . Some of the data was held back to help validate the results .”
Used in conjunction with MTE ’ s geographic information system , the information allowed them to create new maps of the site , better visualize the growth , and make management decisions accordingly – saving MTE both time and money . “ The tree canopy ’ s only 10 feet tall in there right now , but it ’ s like a jungle ,” Crocker said . “ Using remote sensing probably saved our foresters a full field season and freed them up for other projects , and , in the end , their results probably wouldn ’ t have been as accurate as what we got with the remote sensing .”
Crocker added that , while MTE has a drone , he realizes its limitations and that its imagery collection wouldn ’ t have been nearly as accurate . “ The time and effort it would ’ ve taken us to do this with a drone can ’ t
compare with what Ayres did in a single mission or two with the manned aircraft and the processing that the team does ,” he said . “ It was just too big of a project for us to handle .”
Crocker noted that Ayres ’ analysis is already leading to improved longrange planning efforts . “ You get better results in forest management because you have really good data ,” he said . “ It ’ s going to optimize the management of the forest in those areas .” Pecore agreed . “ Ayres ’ techniques have been a big aid to us ,” Pecore said . “ You have to have a good inventory system , a good relationship with people , and new technology to assist you in making decisions , and I think Ayres has been really good with us on that . We sure appreciate the working relationship , and hopefully that continues .”
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