Terrestrial Laser Scanning in Forest Inventories

Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) is an effective technique for acquiring detailed tree attributes in forest plots. During the last two decades, national mapping agencies, companies, universities and research organisations have put tremendous effort into developing methods for tree attribute estimation using TLS.

There is, however, still a lack of proper understanding on TLS performance. Different data collection methods and processing standards have led to a large range in tree detection and measurement accuracy. This article explains the early results of an international benchmarking initiative for TLS methods in forest inventories.

The study has identified important differences in methods that should lead to operational work guidelines.

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