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Spanish univ develops software for forest mapping

Spain: Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) developed a new software that can generate maps of forest areas with information on timber volume, biomass or height of the trees, among other variables.
The development of this software by the Group of Geoenvironmental Cartography and Remote Sensing is part of the INFOREST project coordinated by COTESA (Center for Observation and Spatial Remote Sensing S.A.U) and funded by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade. The other teams that have taken part in the research are the Social Capital Group and Sustainable Development at the University of Castilla-La Mancha and the Group of Inventory and Natural Resources Management at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
According to Luis Ángel Ruiz, researcher at the UPV, this project has yielded key information for management of forests using data from Earth Observation at local, provincial and regional levels. He also stated that its results are particularly relevant to ensure optimal maintenance and exploitation of forests from an ecological point of view.
The software integrates the entire LiDAR data treatment process from the generation of digital terrain models, feature extraction and model estimation of forest variables, to obtain the final maps. “From airborne LiDAR data and software application, we generate maps that can improve knowledge about the evolution of a forest, how its structure and characteristics change, as well as its potential to absorb CO2 and its wood volume. All this has positive effects on its maintenance, fire prevention or sustainable use,” said Luis Ángel Ruiz.
Source: Science Daily