VR software application for forest inventories

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Rapid developments in VR (Virtual Reality) technology make it timely to explore the potential of advanced 3D visualisation to support forest inventory. VR offers the potential for field staff to transfer their skills to within a 3D and 1:1 scaled immersive environment and to use VR tools to measure tree dimensions within a point cloud dataset.

The technology has been demonstrated at recent ForestTECH events and the operational use of the tools has just been outlined to inventory foresters at the Australian leg of the ForestTECH 2019 series in Melbourne over the last couple of days.

In this project, Enhanced forest inventory practice using immersive visualisation and measurement of dense point cloud data (2018-2019), one of the aims has been to develop methods to support VR visualisation and measurement of plot-level point-cloud data in plantation forests.

The image here illustrates an internal view within the VR environment of a user interacting with point cloud data.

Table 1 shows the hardware and software requirements to run this VR software application. The application comes with a cruising dictionary (text file) and a sample LiDAR point cloud plot, provided by Interpine Group Ltd. The application will also output a text file formatted to be reminiscent of the format of the PlotSafe table data, containing tree measurement made inside the VR environment.

Table 1: Hardware and Software Requirements:

The VR Forest Inventory software application is now available for public trial. Please email Winyu Chinthammit ( winyu.chinthammit@utas.edu.au ) to obtain the download link to the VR software.

Source: University of Tasmania

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