Rotorua, NEW ZEALAND
2018 Event Summary
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, showcased and demonstrated into their business”, says Brent Apthorp, FIEA Director.
As part of ForestTECH 2018, Pan Pac Forest Products outlined how they'd picked up on the opportunity of using daily satellite imagery to collect and report on their clear-fell harvest areas. Like most forestry companies involved in harvesting, the data being collected is essential information for area reporting, yield reconciliation, harvest scheduling and financial forecasting and reporting. Until last year, it was being done largely on the ground with a bit of UAV and aerial photography to assist.
The company wanted a better system. They wanted a system where no ground measurements were required, harvest coordinator involvement was largely on quality control, the reliability of data collection could be improved and information flows for the end of month and YE reporting could be streamlined. Sheldon Ellis, Manager Forest Optimisation with the company and David Herries, GM of Interpine outlined the results of an 8-month trial that they’ve just completed using the Planet Lab platform. The process, results, learning's for other forestry companies and future direction for the company in using satellite imagery was shared with all those attending.
Similar case studies from companies like Indufor Asia Pacific, Hancock Forest Management, OneFortyOne Plantations, FCNSW and Swift Geospatial were also shared. All were very open and able to outline progress on the adoption and implementation of technologies showcased in previous years as part of the annual ForestTECH series.
A number of new and emerging data collection technologies have been on display over the last two weeks. One video shown as part of a presentation (put out by FP Innovations) really showcased where forestry is going - see below.
Key Themes at ForestTECH 2018
- Storage, processing and management of "big data"
- The practical application of automation, robotics and sensors by forest managers
- Integrating virtual and augmented reality into forestry operations
- Results and lessons from reconciling remote sensing data into the field
- New innovations in mobile forest apps and collection tools
- Mobile communications advances in more remote locations
- Results from remote sensing research and in-forest trials
- Workflow solutions for data collected from airborne and UAV systems
- New mapping and GIS applications
- Changing skill sets required by today’s forest resource managers