ForestTECH 2016: Event Summary

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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, ForestTECH also enables key researchers, technology providers and forest owners to build in their own client meetings, workshops and discussion groups on both sides of the Tasman.

Over 250 delegates attended November’s ForestTECH 2016 series in Rotorua and Melbourne. The gathering of foresters were treated to a wide range of new tools and technologies, key results from in-forest trials and practical case studies on the day-to-day forest planning and operations.

This year the event highlighted new data collection technologies and advances in how to access, process and better interpret the associated big data streams. Rapid improvements in smartphones and tablets, the development of user friendly forestry apps and increasing connectivity have changed just how forestry companies use this data improve their operations – everything from the measurement of wood volumes out in the field through to the scheduling and logistics around wood flows.

Day one focused on the digital technology revolution, sensor networks, machine learning, cloud infrastructure operational UAV use and a rapid-fire Tech Showcase session. The second day detailed advances in liDAR and hyperspectral mapping and their successful integration into forest operations. Opportunities in using low cost satellite imagery data platforms like Landsat, Sentinel 2 and Google Earth was also covered.

The industry is currently riding a wave of change. Technology continues to evolve at ever increasing rates. Many of the tools and techniques used by local forest managers five years ago have now been superseded and the skill-set required over the next five years will see even more change.

A gallery of event photos are available to view on the website – click here to view them.

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