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ForestTECH News Issue 27 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to the latest issue of Foresttech.news. It has been a busy month and we have a wealth of stories in this issue. First up, is the release of the full programme for November’s ForestTECH 2019 technology series. With over 250 attending each year, the 2019 event is shaping up as a who’s who of local and international forest data …

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ForestTECH News Issue 26 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to the latest issue of Foresttech.news. The highly anticipated programme for November’s ForestTECH 2019 series will be released later this month. Event registrations will also open shortly, with big early-bird discounts available. We have an international cast of experts at both the New Zealand and Australian events and a wealth of new technologies and case studies will be on display. Several ‘hands-on’ …

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NZ forestry farm prices increase

In ForestTECH, Issue26 by FIEA

The median price of forestry farms across New Zealand has increased by 45% over the last year from NZ$6,487 per hectare to NZ$9,394 per hectare according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) source of the most complete and accurate real estate data in New Zealand. This increase may be largely the result of the Government incentives to …

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SpaceX goes big for launch

In ForestTECH, Issue26, Video by FIEA

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Elon Musk, successfully launched in May its first five dozen Starlink telecommunications satellites. This is the first step in the Starlink project, which aims to create an ultra-fast global internet service. SpaceX broadcast the inaugural Starlink mission, which launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 10:30 p.m. ET. A little more than an hour after liftoff, …

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World-first robotic logging truck scalers

In ForestTECH, Issue26 by FIEA

The world’s first two automated logging truck scalers, commissioned by Mount Maunganui-based ISO Limited, are now scanning logs at Port of Tauranga, New Zealand. The Robotic Scaling Machines (RSM) give a faster, safer and more accurate measure of logs on the trucks and trailers than the manual process. Tauranga-based agritech company Robotics Plus designed and built the automatic logging truck …

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ForestTECH News Issue 25 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to the latest issue of Foresttech.news. As mentioned last month, we have started working on the programmes for this November’s ForestTECH 2019 series. Programmes for both Australia and New Zealand are now close to being finalised, so if you are interested in participating, please contact Brent Apthorp on brent.apthorp@fiea.org.nz as soon as possible. We’ll bring you news in next …

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First satellite fleet to monitor CO2

In ForestTECH, Issue25 by FIEA

Europe is readying a new fleet of satellites that will monitor CO2 emissions at every point on earth, creating the first worldwide system to independently track polluters. The fleet of three satellites is slated for launch in 2025, in time to inform the UN’s global stocktake of greenhouse gas emissions three years later, the European Space Agency (ESA) confirmed to …

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Victoria’s largest acquisition of forest LiDAR

In ForestTECH, Issue25 by FIEA

Victoria’s largest ever acquisition of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data across 1.35 million hectares of Victorian public forests has just commenced. This work will provide important information for supporting decision-making during the RFA and forest modernisation process. Mapping the location and density of high-conservation value forests, such as ecologically mature forests and rainforest, with the assistance of the LiDAR …

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NZ$14M to expand LiDAR mapping across NZ

In ForestTECH, Issue25 by FIEA

The Bay of Plenty is one of the eight regions that will receive co-funding from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to obtain LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) elevation datasets. Eight Regional Councils, in partnership with their Territorial Authorities and others, have applied for and will receive NZ$14 million of co-funding from the PGF to obtain LiDAR elevation datasets. Land Information …

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How do I successfully launch a mapping drone?

In ForestTECH, Issue25 by FIEA

In Waypoint’s newest segment, Ask Andrea, senseFly’s Product and Training Manager, Andrea Blindenbacher, answers questions on launching and landing a mapping drone, such as why it’s important to take off and land against the wind and what do if something unexpected happens during your landing approach. I get this question a lot, and with fixed-wing drones, such as the eBee …

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How Drones are attracting new graduates

In ForestTECH, Issue25 by FIEA

This article relates to how young tech savvy graduates are now being attracted to the oil and gas industry. Transpose the oil and gas industry to forestry. There is an important message here. The image displayed is from a recent forestry open day run for interested school students in Southland with a young local forestry company representative (Matt Cotterrell, City …

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ForestTECH News Issue 24 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to the latest issue of Foresttech.news. ForestTECH 2019, Australasia’s premier forestry technology series, will be running again for forest resource managers, planners, inventory foresters and GIS and mapping specialists. At this stage, we’re now calling for early expressions of interest to present at this year’s November event. If interested, please contact the Programme Manager, brent.apthorp@fiea.org.nz BEFORE Friday 24 May. …

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Australian business leaders’ eye AI boost but 46% yet to act

In ForestTECH, Issue24 by FIEA

New research into Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a growth driver for Australian businesses, today revealed that just over half of Australian organisations (54%) have started to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) as part of their business strategy, despite 80% of Australian business leaders believing AI is important to their organisation’s competitiveness over the next three years. The study found that Australia …

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AI to double the rate of innovation in NZ

In ForestTECH, Issue24 by FIEA

By 2021, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will allow the rate of innovation in New Zealand to double. Employee productivity gains are also expected to increase 1.5 times, according to a new AI study released by Microsoft, in partnership with IDC Asia/Pacific. The research, “Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s Growth Potential Through AI”, found more than three-quarters of business leaders polled …

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Treemetrics ambitious plans for growth

In ForestTECH, Issue24 by FIEA

Forestry software company Treemetrics intends to double, if not treble, its workforce over the coming 12 to 18 months as it embarks on a plan to drive revenues from €1 million to €40 million by the end of 2022. The Cork-based company, whose clients include Coillte, the World Bank Group and the European Space Agency, is lining up a multi-million …

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Canada’s supercluster to help forest resource management

In ForestTECH, Issue24 by FIEA

Lim Geomatics is thrilled to play a part in the next chapter of Canadian innovation that will see homegrown companies play a much bigger role in the world economy for big data and digital technology. The rubber recently hit the road for Canada’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative—the $950-million federal government plan for jumpstarting public-private collaboration to accelerate global competitiveness—with the announcement …

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ForestTECH News Issue 23 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to this latest issue of www.foresttech.news. Thanks for the feedback on the new video section of our website. Videos drawn from recent presentations at ForestTECH events (with speaker approval) and clips from more recent articles and reports will be added to what’s there during the year. Your contributions, of course, are welcomed. Building on the theme of last year’s …

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A look at the Nelson Fires 2019

In ForestTECH, Issue23 by FIEA

This web map compares Pre and Post fire, 3m resolution satellite imagery, of the of the Pigeon Valley Fire 2019, Nelson area. The imagery uses the near-infrared band. Using this display helps the burnt areas stand out to the naked eye. The deep red colour represents healthy forest vegetation. Dark grey/blackish areas are those burned by the fire. Pale pink …

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Using drones and AI for koala management

In ForestTECH, Issue23 by FIEA

In a paper first published in Nature.com, the authors discuss an interesting applied technology use case, using both drone data collection and AI to allow for the more frequent and accurate detection of specific individual animals or species of animals. The use case is for koalas, which in addition to being cute and cuddly are shy creatures. Koalas reside in …

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Making augmented reality your business reality

In ForestTECH, Issue23 by FIEA

Showcased at a press conference in Barcelona, Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset promises more features, better virtual and augmented displays, and a more comfortable experience when wearing the headset. Yes, the HoloLens headset might look as if it has been built for playing video games – not a surprise, given the mixed reality project has its origins in Microsoft …

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How Drones Are Being Used in Australia to Make Farming More Efficient

In ForestTECH, Issue23 by FIEA

Guest post by Mark Sheehan, My Drone Authority With the global increase in demand for clean food and other agricultural products, Australian farmers and ranchers are finding that drones are returning critically-needed information on the health of their enterprises. Drones are quickly proving their worth in an otherwise time- and labor-intensive industry. Here is how drones are being used in …

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Trimble Unveils Next-gen Mixed-reality Device with Microsoft HoloLens 2

In ForestTECH, Issue23, Video by FIEA

Trimble has announced a new wearable hard hat compatible device that enables workers in safety-controlled environments to access holographic information on the worksite—the Trimble® XR10 with HoloLens 2. In addition, an expanded set of Trimble software and services will be available to provide field-oriented workflows that leverage constructible 3D models and mixed reality to solve daily work tasks. The announcement …

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DATA61 expands robotics infrastructure

In ForestTECH, Issue23 by FIEA

CSIRO’s Data61 has announced the opening of its new Robotics Innovation Centre in Queensland, a purpose-built research facility for robotics and autonomous systems, an industry set to be worth AU$23 billion by 2025. Data61 is one of the global leaders in the field, with capabilities ranging from legged robots and 3D mapping through to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned …

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ForestTECH News Issue 22 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to this latest issue of www.foresttech.news. We brought forward the second issue for the year as we’ve been inundated with forest resource management, remote sensing and inventory management stories. Thanks to all of you who have contributed over the last few weeks. In addition to a range of new postings, on the newsletter and website this month, you’ll notice …

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Improving the modelling of forest harvesting

In ForestTECH, Issue22 by FIEA

Developing tree breakage models is a key parameter in the modelling of forest yield.   To model the height at which a stem breaks during harvesting and before log-making can start, allows for correct allocation of recoverable stem volume in which logs can be made from.   This is one of the Biometric methods which are used to during the log-making process together …

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Drone sets a new world record

In ForestTECH, Issue22, Video by FIEA

During FPT Industrial’s Tech day, FPT Industrial and Forvola broke the Guinness World Record for the heaviest payload lifted by a drone. With 16 propellers giving it enough oomph to lift hefty objects, Forvola’s megadrone lifted a 5 ft. box of FPT Industrial spare parts that weighed in at about 220 lbs. The drone held this weight for more than …

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ForestTECH News Issue 21 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to this year’s first issue of this region’s forest inventory and remote sensing newsletter, www.foresttech.news.  Other than those unfortunately having to work on fire duty (and many of you still actively involved in both Australia and New Zealand) over the Christmas period, we trust the break over the summer period has been a good one. We’ve built in a number …

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Investing in resource modelling and remote sensing

In ForestTECH, Issue21 by FIEA

Society is undergoing enormous disruption due to the continuous adoption of new digital technology and the forest industry is poised to take advantage of some of these. But successful replacement of longstanding and proven technology and forestry systems and meeting new information needs doesn’t happen by chance, and there is considerable risk to avoid failed implementations, waste of money and …

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50% of deliveries to be made by drone

In ForestTECH, Issue21 by FIEA

If you don’t think drone deliveries are going to take off (excuse the pun), think again. While the U.S. and Europe inch closer to drone delivery, China is racing ahead. China’s leading e-commerce company, JD, has launched an agressive trial that the company says will lead to 50% of its packages being delivered by drone. Xinhua.net reports that New Year’s …

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Airobotics wins unique drone flight approval

In ForestTECH, Issue21 by FIEA

Israeli drone provider Airobotics has secured the first-ever approval by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority to operate drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) from a remote operations centre. In addition, the unique waiver allows the company to operate without the need of an air crew on site, making it the first such waiver issued by CASA. Remote pilots are …

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Big data technologies driving the bioeconomy

In ForestTECH, Issue21 by FIEA

Finnish pilot develops new solution for sustainable forestry Europe is feverishly looking for new ways to use farm, forest and fishery resources more responsibly and sustainably and to promote the production of the best possible raw materials in order to increase the availability of food, energy and biomaterials. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, the Finnish Forest Centre and …

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Land Information NZ develops wilding tool

In ForestTECH, Issue21 by FIEA

Land Information New Zealand develops tool to enable public to help fight spread of wilding conifers, which can threaten productive farmland, native ecosystems, tourism, economy; Wilding Watch can be used to find new infestations and upload photos. A new tool to enable the public to help fight one of New Zealand’s most invasive species has been created by Land Information …

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New satellite to be launched with IR capability

In ForestTECH, Issue21 by FIEA

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has announced that it would be extending its Earth observation capabilities by acquiring Australia’s first CubeSat designed to detect invisible infrared light. To be known as CSIROSat-1, the new satellite will allow researchers from CSIRO and other institutions to ‘see’ features that can’t otherwise be seen using satellite imagery in the visible spectrum. Although the …

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New lidar scanner improves data collection

In ForestTECH, Issue21 by FIEA

Scion, New Zealand’s CRI for forestry and wood products,has a new top-of-the line lidar scanner – the Riegl MiniVUX-1 UAV Snoopy V-series manufactured by LidarUSA. The new piece of equipment has higher resolution and accuracy than Scion’s current scanner, and has an increased range. Being able to capture data at greater than 60 m above ground (and up to 120 …

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Voxel-based metrics proving accurate

In ForestTECH, Issue21 by FIEA

Using voxel-based analysis of aerial lidar is a promising new development in remote sensing. In the past, high-density lidar has largely been restricted to terrestrial laser scanners. Now, high-density scanners are being mounted on helicopters and UAVs flying close to the tops of forests to provide very fine-scale imagery of trees. This kind of scanning generates very dense point clouds …

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ForestTECH News Issue 20 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to this month’s issue of foresttech.news The ForestTECH 2018 event has just been completed. Many of you were involved as delegates. Feedback from this year’s series has again been excellent. Thanks. If you were there or just interested, images taken over the two weeks can be viewed on the event website by clicking here. Details relating to how delegates (this year …

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ForestTECH 2018 – Event Summary

In Event, ForestTECH, Issue20 by FIEA

Well over 250 resource managers, remote sensing specialists and inventory foresters from throughout Australasia, SE Asia and South America have participated in the annual ForestTECH 2018 series. “What’s really gratifying is the continued turnout by leading forestry companies from throughout the region and the significant value that these return delegates are getting through the adoption of the technologies being discussed, …

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Drone delivery takes off in Australia

In ForestTECH, Issue20, Video by FIEA

At Amsterdam Drone Week, James Burgess of Google X spinoff Wing showed a system of drone delivery that’s made over 2500 customer flights in a test outside of Canberra, Australia. In the last nine months, Wing – graduated from Project X and now independent under parent company Alphabet – has worked on a widespread test of drone delivery in a …

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Family business at the forefront of processing photogrammetry

In ForestTECH, Issue20 by FIEA

SimActive is a leading developer of photogrammetry software. The Canadian company, which was founded by two brothers – Louis and Philippe Simard – in 2003, celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. GIM International recently interviewed Philippe Simard about the recent developments in digital photogrammetry, the company’s flagship product Correlator3D, automated classification of point clouds, the influence of drones in the …

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DroneSeed automating tree planting

In ForestTECH, Issue20, Video by FIEA

Wildfires are consuming North American forests and grasslands faster than we can replace them. It’s a vicious cycle of destruction and inadequate restoration rooted, so to speak, in decades of neglect of the institutions and technologies needed to keep these environments healthy. DroneSeed is a Seattle-based start-up that aims to combat this growing problem with a modern toolkit that scales: …

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Future search and rescue autonomous drones

In ForestTECH, Issue20 by FIEA

Many of us will have watched TV or movie dramas where a bunch of luckless travellers get totally lost in a dense forest. They hear the unmistakable sound of a helicopter nearby and start waving frantically. Most often, the rescuers will fail to see them and the life-threatening adventure starts anew. Being unable to spot hikers under a thick canopy …

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New technology to remotely assess individual trees

In ForestTECH, Issue20 by FIEA

While foresters don’t necessarily have to abandon their diameter tapes and vertex hypsometers, there is no denying that rapidly-evolving remote sensing technologies are revolutionising forest management practices. Field-based inventory methods and sampling designs can estimate variables such as height, volume, basal area and number of trees fairly accurately, if enough sampling plots are included, but this approach is labour-intensive and …

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AU start-up hitches a ride with Rocket Lab

In ForestTECH, Issue20 by FIEA

Forget the across-the-ditch rivalry: New Zealanders, Australians and Americans are working together to launch a fleet of satellites to power the world’s global IoT communications from space. Rocket Lab and Australian IoT startup Fleet Space Technologies have signed a contract to launch two Proxima satellites this month. The satellites are the first of a series of small, low-cost satellites that …

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Tips for UAV takeoffs and landings

In ForestTECH, Issue20 by FIEA

What’s the single most important factor to help facilitate a successful fixed-wing UAV flight? It’s a question we get a lot from UAV (drone) operators across the world. And while it would be great to point to just one thing you could do to ensure every flight is a success, the reality is that there are many factors that contribute …

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GEDI to yield 3D forest carbon map

In ForestTECH, Issue20 by FIEA

A new NASA laser instrument set to launch to the International Space Station in December will help scientists create the first three-dimensional map of the world’s temperate and tropical forests. The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation, or GEDI, is scheduled to launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. From the station, GEDI’s advanced laser technology will reveal the three-dimensional structure of forest …

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ForestTECH News Issue 19 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to this month’s issue of foresttech.news The annual ForestTECH 2018 series is now in full swing. Last week in Rotorua we had a large contingent of resource managers and inventory foresters from throughout New Zealand involved in the two-day conference and four pre-conference workshops that ran for delegates. This week, we have an excellent turnout of Australian and SE …

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NZ$19M for National LiDAR initiative

In ForestTECH, Issue19 by FIEA

Councils in New Zealand that can’t afford three-dimensional mapping of their territories stand to gain from a NZ$19 million grant from the Provincial Growth Fund. Land Information and Economic Development ministers Eugenie Sage and Shane Jones announced the decision to increase funding for so-called LiDAR, or 3D, mapping because of the need for a national database to assist with land …

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Delair announces a new drone platform

In ForestTECH, Issue19 by FIEA

Delair has announced a new drone platform specifically optimized for the agriculture and forest industry, the Delair UX11 Ag. Built on the foundation of the successful Delair UX11 fixed-wing UAV, the new version combines the productivity benefits of long-range/BVLOS flight operations with highly accurate survey-grade mapping and plant data collection capabilities – all in an easy-to-use platform – to enable …

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Mapping trees with 3D mobile mapping technology

In ForestTECH, Issue19 by FIEA

Placed first in Australia and 20th in the world in the 2016 QS University Rankings, Australian National University (ANU) is a research institution with its main campus in Canberra, the country’s capital. Research currently underway in a joint effort between ANU and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is tracking tree growth and development over time using GeoSLAM’s …

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Airbus partners with NZ research institute

In ForestTECH, Issue19 by FIEA

The Centre for Space Science Technology (CSST) and Airbus Defence and Space have announced a partnership agreement, which will give New Zealand businesses, industry, government and the research community access to an even wider selection of high resolution, weather independent, near real-time satellite imagery. “In the past, New Zealand has lagged behind other nations in our application of Earth observation …

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New Forest Inventory Reporting System being launched

In ForestTECH, Issue19 by FIEA

After a successful release in Australia, Universal Forest Systems has announced that they will be launching the Forest Inventory Reporting System (FIRS) in New Zealand at the Foresttech conference in November. “FIRS is an innovative end-to-end solution for designing forest inventories, capturing data, analysing the captured data and reporting the results” says Ashley Goldstraw, Forestry Apps Developer for Universal Forest …

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Unlocking the underground with airborne and legged robots

In ForestTECH, Issue19 by FIEA

CSIRO’s Data61, the technology arm of Australia’s national science agency, is competing in the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Subterranean (or “SubT”) Challenge , which aims to explore new approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments. Data61’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group, one of the leading robotics and autonomous systems research groups in the world, is …

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Precision forestry: a revolution in the woods

In ForestTECH, Issue19 by FIEA

This report by Harsh Choudhry and Glen O’Kelly for McKinsey & Company looks at which advanced technologies for forest management are most promising, and how forestry companies can start their digital transformation. The authors argue that while digital technology is revolutionising industries around the globe – from manufacturing to healthcare to agriculture – forestry has lagged behind. However, this is …

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ForestTECH News Issue 18 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to this month’s issue of ForestTECH News. One month to go before this year’s annual ForestTECH event runs. We start in Rotorua, New Zealand on 14-15 November and then run the second leg of the tech series in Melbourne, Australia on 20-21 November. As anticipated, registrations are really flowing in. Pre-conference workshops are getting close to full with two …

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Forestry Applications for RIEGL’s Waveform-LIDAR technology

In ForestTECH, Issue18 by FIEA

Based on innovative Waveform-LiDAR technology, RIEGL laser scanners and systems provide an outstanding high-density point cloud ideally suited for applications in forestry and precision agriculture. Advanced processing algorithms account for a full exploitation of the information included in scan data. The high-performance multi-target capability enables an excellent vegetation penetration resulting in a high number of ground returns that can be …

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Near real time forestry monitoring innovation

In ForestTECH, Issue18 by FIEA

We recently covered two stories on remote sensing for forestry applications. Below is information linked to a new service being supplied by a South African company, Swift Geospatial who will be presenting at the Australian leg of the upcoming ForestTECH 2018 series on 20-21 November. The company is providing their clients with geospatial solutions derived from Satellite and Unmanned Aerial …

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Continuous forest monitoring using daily satellite imagery

In ForestTECH, Issue18 by FIEA

In the recent years there has been a marked uptake of remote sensing technologies. Drones and LiDAR have acquired a high profile. These indisputably have a place provided they are cost-effective, deliver consistent results, and add value. Not to go unnoticed, though is the increased availability of satellite imagery and technological advances that allow repeat assessment of forests at low …

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Tree species mapping from space

In ForestTECH, Issue18 by FIEA

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 tree species you have and where they are is critical for effective forest management and commercial decision-making. The ‘Earth Observation for Tree Species Mapping’ guide, available …

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Automatic object detection in point clouds

In ForestTECH, Issue18 by FIEA

Classification Approaches and Method Comparison Point clouds are used as a data source for mapping tasks in various application fields. Before an object can be mapped, it needs to be detected in the point cloud, preferably by automatic means. The development of detection methods is a complex task due to the significant diversity of objects, the random structure of point …

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Using satellite photogrammetry for forest inventory

In ForestTECH, Issue18 by FIEA

Forest management has undergone a transformation in recent decades. Management regimes have shifted from treatments that were applied to entire forests, to precise programmes, that can be tailored to single tree and are based on detailed data attained by remote sensing. Of the remote sensing technologies available to forest managers, satellite-based photogrammetry (the use of multiple images to extract measurements …

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Future directions for Forestry Corporation NSW MapApp

In ForestTECH, Issue18 by FIEA

Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW) is exploring the possibility of commercialising its highly successful iOS-based MapApp mapping application. The MapApp: Collects, displays and shares spatial information for field-based activities including ecology surveys; forest, land and fire planning and management; audit and compliance; roading; and many more Is readily customisable with multiple modules Works offline and seamlessly integrates with corporate ESRI GIS …

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Drone thermal imaging being used before harvesting

In ForestTECH, Issue18 by FIEA

The Latrobe Valley-based Hazelwood Forestry company in Victoria, Australia is using unmanned aerial vehicles to keep an eye on the local koala population. According to the Latrobe Valley Express, the implementation of camera drones is helping Eloise and Russel Cluning spot the animals amidst the thick foliage before felling any trees. This process saves time and manual labor while efficiently …

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Drone tree seedling deliveries a reality

In ForestTECH, Issue18 by FIEA

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 to restock their seedling supplies manually by returning back to the stock pile reducing productivity through downtime associated with ferrying new trees …

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Monitoring forest health from afar

In ForestTECH, Issue18 by FIEA

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 the pine needles changed as the herbicide took effect. The changes were monitored over time using a UAV-mounted multispectral camera, and using data collected from the …

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ForestTECH News Issue 17 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

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 programme and registration information for both Australia and New Zealand were posted out this week (yes, we still use hard copies as well as digital). …

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Mixed reality now a forestry reality

In ForestTECH, Issue17 by FIEA

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 technologies have the potential to replace smartphones and personal computers within 10 years. Even now, they’re becoming an important tool for big business. Most sectors see …

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Extreme fire risk in NZ may double

In ForestTECH, Issue17 by FIEA

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 plantation forests, taking into account everything from growth gains to risk from pests, disease and wind. The modelling suggested changing climatic conditions – …

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UAVs and big data are changing fibre supply

In ForestTECH, Issue17 by FIEA

With forest company’s industry wide faced with fibre accessibility challenges, the name of the game today is supply chain optimization. A technology company based in Vancouver believes the solution is in forestry-specific data collection and analytics. Big data — a buzzword for the storage and analysis of large, complex data sets from multiple sources — has taken most industries by …

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Smart digital strategies for forest management

In ForestTECH, Issue17 by FIEA

Field Surveys are an important part of sustainable forest management. Most of the forest departments across Canada have been using traditional paper-based surveys. However, Manitoba Forestry and Peatlands Branch digitalized their survey workflow using mobile geospatial technology. Tony Viveiros and Marianne Porteous at Manitoba Sustainable Development elaborate more on their use of geographic information system (GIS) technology to increase efficiency …

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A new type of 3D: The Looking Glass

In ForestTECH, Issue17 by FIEA

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 volumetric technologies. Further details can be found on their website and Kickstarter campaign. Check out the technology in the Youtube clip below.     Image Credit: Through the …

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Record maiden flight of solar-powered drone

In ForestTECH, Issue17 by FIEA

Last November as part of this region’s ForestTECH series that ran, local forest resource managers heard from Airbus Defence & Space on progress being made on a raft of projects including work on combining drone and satellite technologies and their solar-powered Zephyr, an aerial platform that operates in the space between conventional satellites and manned aircraft. The company has just …

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Swift Engineering UAS completes forestry mission

In ForestTECH, Issue17 by FIEA

Swift Engineering’s Swift020 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) recently completed flights over densely forested areas in Japan. The company worked with the Ishikawa Prefecture Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry, the local forest cooperative association and key forestry industry leaders during the mission, according to a news release. The flights were completed within the Ishikawa Prefecture, where the density of the …

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ForestTECH News Issue 16 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

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’ series runs in Rotorua, New Zealand on 14-15 November 2018 and then again in Melbourne, Australia on 20-21 November 2018. We’re pretty excited with the …

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13 GIS data collection apps professionals should try

In ForestTECH, Issue16 by FIEA

You bought a GPS receiver. Or, maybe, you just want to get more out of the data from your current receiver. What’s next? Juniper Systems have compiled a list of 13 GPS and GNSS apps and solutions that will make your data collection smarter, better, and more efficient. Here are Android, Windows 10, and Apple iOS app options picked by …

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Drone missions to fight California wildfires

In ForestTECH, Issue16 by FIEA

The California Air National Guard‘s 195th Airlift Wing recently launched a drone reconnaissance mission to aid firefighting efforts in northern California. At least six people have been killed by the raging wildfires with more than 500 homes and buildings decimated. The unit deploys a MQ-9 Reaper drone to monitor and track the blaze. The drone flights collect data, imagery and …

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Precursors to drones – way back in 1907

In ForestTECH, Issue16 by FIEA

In 1907, just a few years after the Wright brothers lifted off in Kitty Hawk, and while human flight was still being measured in metres and minutes, Dr. Julius Neubronner, a German apothecary, submitted a patent application for a new invention: the pigeon camera. The device was precisely what it sounds like—a small camera fitted with straps and equipped with …

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THOR hovers like a helicopter but can fly long-distance

In ForestTECH, Issue16 by FIEA

A team of researchers from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is creating a Transformable Hovering Rotorcraft (THOR) and hopes their design can address the fact that multicopter drones cannot cover long distances. While THOR received a lot of coverage when first announced last year, there is a lot of potential for these designs within the forest industry. THOR …

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ForestTECH 2018 workshops likely to sell out fast

In Event, ForestTECH, Issue16 by FIEA

Feedback on the programmes announced last week has already been extremely positive. This year a raft of new disruptive technologies already been trialled in the forestry industry – and allied industries – are going to be showcased for the first time in this region. Another key feature of the series this year are the pre-conference workshops that have been set …

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ForestTECH 2018 event details on line

In Event, ForestTECH, Issue16 by FIEA

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, ForestTECH. Many of you have been involved with us and have input into designing this year’s series. Thanks. This years’ series runs in Rotorua, New Zealand …

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Airobotics makes autonomous drones in a box

In ForestTECH, Issue16 by FIEA

Not far from Tel Aviv a drone flies low over a gritty landscape of warehouses and broken pavement. It slowly approaches its home — a refrigerator-sized box inside a mesh fence, and hovers, preparing to dock. It descends like some giant bug, whining all the way, and disappears into its base where it will be cleaned, recharged and sent back …

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ForestTECH News Issue 15 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

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 this part of the industry continue to grow. Thanks for your support and your ongoing contributions. First up, many of you have been involved with us in designing …

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Satellite images tell the story of Tolaga Bay

In ForestTECH, Issue15 by FIEA

The impact of forestry on the East Coast came to the fore last month as Tolaga Bay was deluged with offcuts. How did it come to this, asks Michael Smith. Satellite images show how the disaster in the forests at Tolaga Bay on New Zealand’s was a long time in the making. The length of time and the extent of …

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Aquila: Facebook Shuts Down Internet Delivery Drone Project

In ForestTECH, Issue15 by FIEA

Facebook has quietly announced that it will no longer be continuing with its Aquila project, a giant drone designed to fly at high altitude and beam down internet connectivity to remote areas. In a blog post written by director of engineering Yael Maguire, the company admitted that growing competition in the space from established aerospace businesses meant that Aquila was …

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Point Clouds: Laser Scanning vs UAS Photogrammetry

In ForestTECH, Issue15 by FIEA

Are photogrammetric point clouds superior to Lidar point clouds, or is it the other way around? To address this topic of ongoing debate, a study Switzerland-based study by Lerch Weber AG conducted a terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) survey together with an unmanned aerial system (UAS) photogrammetric survey of a gravel pit. In modern surveying, the numerous measurement methods can be …

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Move on joint forest management standard

In ForestTECH, Issue15 by FIEA

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 Association (NZFCA) in Wellington. Responsible Wood and the NZFCA operate PEFC-endorsed sustainable forest management systems in Australia and New Zealand respectively. A significant outcome of the meeting between …

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Drones could add £42 billion to the UK economy

In ForestTECH, Issue15 by FIEA

Drone technology has the potential to transform our economies to be more sustainable and efficient, according to a new report from PwC. The professional services group looked at the impact that drones could have upon the UK economy, finding significant improvements across all sectors. Adopting new technologies, such as drones, are seen as important ways to monitor and manage the …

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How will open data affect the geospatial business?

In ForestTECH, Issue15 by FIEA

Open data is becoming increasingly available all over the world. How will this trend affect the geospatial business? ‘GIM International’ has asked experts from some of the sector’s most influential companies for their opinions. How do Leica Geosystems, Trimble, Esri, Topcon and Bentley view the shift towards open geospatial data? Is it a blessing or is there reason for caution …

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New Report: What are drones being used for in New Zealand?

In ForestTECH, Issue15 by FIEA

Airways’ latest Drone Tracker Survey is out – providing a detailed snapshot of where the drone industry in New Zealand is at and what are the key issues for users. So what are the implications for the future of the technology? And what industries stand to benefit the most from more drones in the sky? The report surveyed 1,442 drone …

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Insight Robotics receives funding for forestry

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

Hong Kong venture capital fund Beyond Ventures has joined with Linear Capital of Shanghai to lead a US$9 million investment that will benefit forestry in national parks and other natural resources all over the world. They are funding Insight Robotics, which pursues a mission to facilitate risk management of the world’s assets by generating and making sense of data. Other …

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New tool to predict forestry climate change

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

Forest managers will be able to gauge the likely effect of climate change on growing conditions in their specific areas with a new interactive online tool developed by the CSIRO with funding from Forest & Wood Products Australia. The free Forest Climate Risk Tool provides information on factors such as the likely periods of drought, rainfall, number of heatwave days, …

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Drone test for replanting forests

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

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 Canada in need of … reforestation activities,” Lauren Fletcher, chief executive of England’s BioCarbon Engineering, said after a recent demonstration of his company’s …

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Infrared sensing gives drones a new edge

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

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 Australia autonomous systems expert Professor Anthony Finn said an infrared sensor gave the drone the “x-ray vision” to see through forest canopies. The collaboration between the forest …

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Lidar Market Heading towards 2 Billion Dollars by 2023

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

According to a comprehensive new market research report, the overall Lidar market is expected to reach over US$1.8 billion by 2023, up from US$819.1 million in 2018, at a CAGR of 17.2%. Encouragement from the governments and institutes for the adoption of Lidar while conducting geological surveys is the major factor driving the growth of this market. Introduction of technologically …

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Tiny RoboFly could sniff out forest fires

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

This is one flying insect you don’t want to swat. It doesn’t bite, sting, or spread disease and someday it could be a life and climate saver. In time, it could survey crops, detect wildfires, poke around in disaster rubble searching for survivors and sniff out gas leaks, especially global warming-fueling methane, a powerful greenhouse gas many times more potent …

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Expressions of Interest – ForestTECH 2018

In Event, ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

ForestTECH is this region’s premier technology series. It’s run for Australasia’s forest resource managers, planners, inventory foresters and GIS and mapping specialists by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA). Since 2007, it’s the one event every year that focuses on this particular part of the forestry industry. Forest owners, forestry mangers, key researchers and technology providers are also now picking …

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Terrestrial Laser Scanning in Forest Inventories

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

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 …

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New lab immerses users in environment of Agumented Reality

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

The Lab, which is part of CSIRO’s new $100M research facility in Canberra, will allow researchers to develop new interactive computer graphics and computational imaging services, which will redefine industries including retail, agriculture, manufacturing, health and construction. Senior Research Engineer and Experimental Scientist at CSIRO’s Data61 Matt Adcock, said AR and VR technology would change the way Australians interact with …

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ForestTECH News Issue 13 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

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 look through a VR headset. The research and presentation was able to highlight the potential use of Virtual Reality for future forest …

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Report released on the potential for AI

In ForestTECH, Issue13 by FIEA

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: Artificial Intelligence: Shaping a Future New Zealand. The report is the culmination of nearly a year’s work with research partners IDC and Sapere, examining …

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International expertise for Woodflow 2018

In ForestTECH, Issue13 by FIEA

As part of the upcoming two-yearly tech update for forestry, wood harvesting and transport companies around Australasia, the very latest international and local developments around vehicle fleet operations, planning and safety as they apply to the wood transport businesses, new log measurement systems and resource and transport scheduling are being unveiled. Outside of tech specialists drawn from across New Zealand …