ForestTECH News provides the latest updates on breaking news, research results, reports and links relevant to forest resource management and planning in Australasia.



ForestTECH Events has, since 2007, been Australasia’s leading technology event for forest resource managers, remote sensing, GIS, mapping and inventory foresters.


ForestTECH 2018 Details

Latest News, & Technologies

28 September 2018

Tree species mapping from space

Whether you’re the owner of a small private woodland or a forestry company responsible for millions of acres, Rezatec have created a free, useful guide on identifying and mapping tree species distribution. Understanding what ...

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27 September 2018

Drone tree seedling deliveries a reality

While pizza deliveries seem to have caught the press and news articles eye, this innovation in the use of drones can equally show the true potential of these tools being used in the forestry sector. Traditionally planters need ...

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27 September 2018

Monitoring forest health from afar

UAV multispectral imagery and satellite data can be used to monitor physiological stress in trees. Researchers from Crown research institute Scion treated selected Pinus radiata with herbicide to stress the trees. The colour of...

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18 September 2018

ForestTECH News Issue 17 Summary

Welcome to this month’s issue of ForestTECH News. Registrations to our annual November tech update, ForestTECH 2018 are now flowing in and places to the workshops, already filling up. Event brochures with details on the progr...

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23 August 2018

Mixed reality now a forestry reality

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality are no longer just for gamers and tech demos. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has called augmented and virtual reality the next major computing platform and is predicting that these technolog...

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23 August 2018

Extreme fire risk in NZ may double

A warming New Zealand could help its plantation forests grow – but not without extreme fire risk almost doubling by the end of the century. Scion researchers have modelled what climate change will mean for the country’s pla...

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23 August 2018

A new type of 3D: The Looking Glass

For the past four years, holographers, engineers, Unity developers and 3D graphic artists have been putting their minds together to create the seemingly magic Looking Glass—a holographic display that uses both lightfield and ...

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17 August 2018

ForestTECH News Issue 16 Summary

Welcome to the 16th monthly issue of ForestTECH News. We mentioned in last month’s issue that we’d been working alongside many of you to pull together this year’s annual technology event, ForestTECH 2018. This years’ se...

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1 August 2018

ForestTECH 2018 event details on line

Every year it’s the one event that draws in forest resource managers, remote sensing, GIS and mapping specialists and inventory foresters together. It’s the annual technology programme run at the end of each year, ForestTEC...

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17 July 2018

ForestTECH News Issue 15 Summary

Welcome to the 15th monthly issue of ForestTECH News Every month, numbers of forest resource managers, remote sensing and mapping and GIS specialists, inventory foresters, researchers and key product and service suppliers to t...

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12 July 2018

Move on joint forest management standard

Australia and New Zealand are closer to developing a joint trans-Tasman standard for forest management following a joint meeting recently between the boards of Responsible Wood and the New Zealand Forest certification Associati...

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1 June 2018

Drone test for replanting forests

The massive task of restoring land denuded by fires, drought or human activity might eventually be helped by swarms of drones that can plant almost 400,000 tree seeds a day. “There’s an absolutely huge, huge area across Can...

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1 June 2018

Infrared sensing gives drones a new edge

An ‘x-ray vision system’ that overlays three specific technologies to assess the structure and health of individual trees in plantation forests through the canopy is being developed in South Australia. University of South A...

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15 May 2018

ForestTECH News Issue 13 Summary

Welcome to this month’s issue of ForestTECH News. This month we’ve included a couple of stories to get you thinking. Firstly, VR. At last year’s ForestTECH event, local forestry companies for the first time got a chance to ...

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11 May 2018

Report released on the potential for AI

Last week, the AI Forum (that’s Artificial Intelligence – not Artificial Insemination) released a major study about the potential for AI in New Zealand. For those interested, it is available free on the AI Forum website: Ar...

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8 May 2018

Evaluating drones for aerial mapping

How often have we wanted to get a bird’s eye view with location intelligence from a certain height? A drone gives you the chance to view everything from an aerial point of view. So, how do you select the right drone for your ...

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3 May 2018

Drone and satellite imagery combined

Airbus Aerial and DroneBase have announced a partnership that will be interesting reading for any organization that relies on aerial imagery to make better decisions. The two plan to deliver the world’s first “multi-source ...

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17 April 2018

ForestTECH News Issue 12 Summary

Welcome to the next issue of ForestTECH.events News. This regular update continues to generate keen interest and contributions from the industry across Australasia. Welcome also to our North and South American readers who atten...

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4 April 2018

Phenotyping for precision forestry

The Phenotyping Platform under development at Scion aims to link information from a number of sources to derive knowledge about the drivers of tree growth, and provide the tools to optimise forest management in support of preci...

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23 March 2018

Log trucks to collect road data

The digitalisation of the road network is often thought of as something related to main roads alone. The forest sector, however, is also interested in the road network outside main roads, and its condition will be monitored in ...

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23 March 2018

The changing marketplace of geomatics

The changing landscape of the mapping and surveying profession brings new challenges, even for a renowned manufacturer of geospatial instruments like Trimble. In view of the growing role of BIM, the rising demand for complete w...

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23 March 2018

Looking at the future of GIS

To gain real insight into today’s geospatial business landscape, ‘GIM International’ decided to ask some of the sector’s most influential companies for their opinions. This series of Q&As captures the current state of t...

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19 March 2018

Optimising radiata pine stand density

Optimising radiata pine stand density could increase the net value of New Zealand’s plantation estate by NZ$1.7 billion. The Scion research team including Dr Mike Watt, Mark Kimberley, Jonathan Dash, Duncan Harrison, Dr Juan ...

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13 March 2018

Welcome to 2018 – ForestTECH Issue 11

The ForestTECH annual update on remote sensing and forest inventory technologies is already well established in Australasia. It’s been going since 2007. It continues to be the one event at the end of each calendar year where ...

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21 February 2018

Forecaster software provider changes

Last Friday marked an important day for Forecaster clients as the maintenance and support of the product shifts to a new software provider. Forecaster is a forest planning and simulation software package developed by Scion over...

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19 February 2018

Geospatial big data moves to data sharing

Geospatial has always been considered as big data, both by its own advocates and many others, writes Ian Holt, a big data evangelist from the UK, in his latest column in ‘GIM International’. Yet large spatial databases and data...

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14 February 2018

Four commercial drone trends for 2018

In my last post, Five Biggest Commercial Drone Trends of 2017 and the Challenges Ahead, I used data from our 2017 Drone Market Sector Report to illustrate the major trends of the past year and describe the major challenges ahea...

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9 February 2018

Welcome to 2018 – ForestTECH Issue 10

Welcome to the first issue of the ForestTECH newsletter for this year. Good to be back at work? Amazingly, already a month of the year has flown by. To start the year, we’ve added a number of remote sensing stories to this is...

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2 February 2018

Autonomous air tankers for firefighting?

Firefighters may soon get another tool in the drone arsenal, as Thrush Aircraft and Drone America from an alliance to begin development of the world’s first autonomous air tanker. The Best of Planes and Drones Thrush Aircraft...

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6 December 2017

ForestTECH 2017 Event Summary

Since 2007, ForestTECH has been the one event every year that continues to draw in foresters to one location in both countries. Key researchers, technology providers and forest owners are also now picking up the opportunity of ...

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29 November 2017

LINZ wins environmental spatial award

LINZ’s efforts to help fight Wilding Conifers – a rapidly spreading invasive pest tree in New Zealand – were recognised at this year’s Spatial Excellence Awards. “LINZ’s web-based mapping and monitoring tool for aut...

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13 October 2017

Testing nursery research in the forest

Several nursery trials carried out as part of GCFF projects in New Zealand have shown that reductions in fungicide and fertiliser use can produce seedlings of the same or better quality when leaving the nursery gate, but how mu...

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12 October 2017

CSIRO invests in sophisticated satellites

CSIRO has secured access to one of the world’s most sophisticated high-performance satellites, giving Australian scientists direct control over which data the satellite collects over our region and placing the national scienc...

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19 September 2017

Expressions of interest – Woodflow 2018

Early expressions of interest are being sought from presenters for next year’s Woodflow 2018 technology series. It’s being run in June next year in both New Zealand and Australia by the Forest Industry Engineering Associati...

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14 September 2017

Mobility eats everything

In just 10 years the ‘smartphone’ has become an essential part of our working and personal lives. We hear and see a lot of hype about the ‘next big thing’ in mobile devices, however, in reality, all we seem to get are i...

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3 September 2017

Unlocking the true value of forestry data

It’s the one forestry technology event every year that brings in forest resource managers, inventory foresters, GIS specialists and researchers from throughout Australasia. Last year, over 250 delegates attended the end-of-ye...

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3 September 2017

NZ drone makers finding niche markets

New Zealand’s commercial drone manufacturers are successfully finding niche markets as the potential for the unmanned flying machines takes off. While unable to compete on price with large Chinese drone makers, several Kiwi c...

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3 September 2017

NZ$800,000 for 3-D mapping of Northland

New Zealand Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have announced government funding of up to NZ$800,000 for 3-D aerial mapping of Northland to provide the region with highly accu...

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3 September 2017

Android™ AOSP: What You Need to Know

Android™ has emerged with growing popularity in the handheld arena, from smartphones to tablets to other devices, it’s here to stay. Since its notable growth, Google has been working toward making various forms of Android a...

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3 September 2017

AI-powered drone soars like a bird

Microsoft is working on giving a sailplane flying instincts like a bird. The artificial-intelligence controlled flying machine can detect and hitch a ride on thermals, enabling it to circle and gain altitude without having to e...

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15 August 2017

AI to better predict forest fires

The same sort of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows cars to drive themselves could be used to better prepare for devastating forest fires, says an Alberta fire scientist. Researchers at the University of Alberta and the U...

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15 August 2017

Tracking wildfires with drones

Boeing-owned Insitu has announced that it will provide drones to FireWhat, a California-based company that monitors wildfires and natural resources. As spotted by GeekWire, the Insitu drones will be used to keep track of fires ...

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19 July 2017

New advanced LiDAR on a fixed wing UAV

Carbomap, an environmental survey company, in collaboration with high-performance LiDAR manufacturer RIEGL, UAVE and The University of Edinburgh, has announced the first successful demonstration flight of a RIEGL VUX-1LR survey...

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19 July 2017

Fighting forest fires with technology

As wildfires recently have burned across the interior of British Columbia, thousands of residents were forced out of their homes — many not knowing whether those homes would withstand the flames. It’s a scenario seen increa...

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3 July 2017

A new foliage penetrating LiDAR system

Shortly after lasers were first developed in the 1960s, LiDAR—whose name originated as a combination of “light” and “radar”—capitalized on the newly unique precision they offered for measuring both time and distance...

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26 June 2017

New Go-To Resource for the UAV industry

There are many rapidly moving parts in the emergence of the new commercial UAV (UAS, drone…) industry. A new book (April 2017), Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Guide: Exploring Designs, Operations, Regulations, and Economics ...

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26 June 2017

Drones that can stay aloft for five days

In the event of a natural disaster that disrupts phone and Internet systems over a wide area, autonomous aircraft could potentially hover over affected regions, carrying communications payloads that provide temporary telecommun...

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30 May 2017

Airbus now moving into commercial drones

Airbus has announced the launch of a new commercial drone start-up, named Airbus Aerial, that will focus on developing new imagery services. These services will leverage technology that Airbus has developed over the years and u...

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27 April 2017

Update on a log counting app

The recognition of objects within images is a technology within the field of computer vision. A practical application within the forest industry is counting logs. Once I heard about an app that would do this it seemed like an o...

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24 April 2017

3D HoloLens for fire-fighting?

Those attending the MobileTECH 2017 event a couple of weeks ago were introduced – and were able to put on to test out – the very latest HoloLens, Microsoft’s augmented reality (AR) viewer. The opportunities for our own la...

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3 March 2017

3D printing UAVs

The Military is no stranger to 3D printing, and so far we’ve seen this demonstrated in concepts for body armor and using the technology to fabricate replacement parts. Now, with the advent of some impressive and innovative un...

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2 March 2017

[Paper] UAVs for Forest Firefighting

Robin Hartley, the UAV Team Leader for Interpine, spoke at ForestTECH 2016 on using UAVs for forest fire-fighting. In a collaboration between Interpine and Massey University School of Aviation in New Zealand, rural fire zone ma...

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1 March 2017

EHang 184 transport drone works

While drones are already becoming an important tool for forest management, we are only just scratching the surface of what they will be able to do. At a major electronics show in the US, Chinese company EHang showed off a work...

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8 February 2017

Drone Data vs LIDAR: Misconceptions

We frequently receive inquiries to provide “LIDAR data”, however there are a couple of things to clarify regarding these requests: - Most often what people want is a 3D point cloud or Digital Elevation Model (DEM), not spe...

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26 January 2017

[Paper] Point Cloud Data Systems

Jon Osborn, from the University of Tasmania, spoke at ForestTECH 2016 on alternative platforms and sensors for point cloud data. Two key questions: Is dense point cloud photogrammetry emerging as a practical source of useful da...

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26 January 2017

The digital technology evolution

There has never been a bigger force for change than technology. It changes everything. This video by Jose Esteves is a huge eye-opener in just how fast the world is changing. Some very interesting facts about the digital world,...

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26 January 2017

UAV rules + sausage delivery

Did you receive an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for Christmas? What was once an expensive hobby or commercial tool, UAVs are now an affordable and popular gift for the general public. While commercial UAV operators should know...

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26 January 2017

UAVs vs eagles

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have become unlikely prey for wedge-tailed eagles in Western Australia's Goldfields, costing a mining giant more than $100,000 to replace its newest surveying tool.

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26 January 2017

Types of drones (UAVs)

Although multi-rotors get most of the attention in the drone world, they are not the only option. If you’re serious about aerial mapping then you need to consider a fixed-wing aircraft. Single-rotor helis are also a great sol...

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23 January 2017

[Paper] FCNSW UAV case study

Mike Sutton, the Forest Information and Planning Manager at Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW), spoke at ForestTECH 2016 on integrating UAVs into their forest management operations. They identified the potential for UAV use in...

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23 January 2017

Issues for the drone industry

While drones (UAVs) are increasingly being used within the forestry industry, the drone manufacturers themselves are struggling to survive in the wider market. France’s Parrot SA, the second largest maker of consumer drones, is...

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26 November 2016

ForestTECH 2016: Event Summary

ForestTECH, an FIEA event run annually since 2007, has become New Zealand and Australia’s premier technology series for forest resource managers, planners and inventory foresters. As a cornerstone event for the industry, Forest...

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30 June 2016

Google Earth’s new mapping system

New images released recently by Google Earth from the Landsat 8 satellite are giving viewers a crisp, stellar glimpse of our planet. In a blog post, Google Earth Engine program manager Chris Herwig explained exactly how the upd...

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28 November 2015

2015 Event Summary

The ForestTECH 2015 technology series ran in New Zealand and Australia in November 2015. Again the turnout to this latest FIEA technology series has been excellent with over 250 technical and resource foresters attending. In ad...

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