We map forest

Forest mapping is at the heart of what we do at Geografiska informationsbyrån. As forest comprise vast areas it is as made for remote sensing and EO. Forest information can be produced for a wide range of costumers with different information needs. It might be an investor who wants to learn more about the background of the company and the natural assets it possess, a NGO investigating the exploitation of natural resources in a far off region or a company that wants to follow up harvests or other forestry practices within it’s own holdings.

timber_roadsSentinel 2 mosaic over parts of Liberia displaying the emergence of a timber road network and the subsequent partial harvest of the tropical forest.

In som geographic regions the optical sensors on Sentinel 2 and related satellites mostly detect the light reflected by clouds. In those regions Sentinel 1 is an interesting alternative with active radar, penetrating clouds and revealing the situation on the ground . Palm oil plantations in Indonesia can for example be monitored in an efficient way with Sentinel 1. Giving good opportunities to display if the pal oil produced comes from a sustainable source or from areas with past or ongoing deforestation.

sumatraSentinel 1 image over parts of Sumatra displaying both natural forest and palm oil plantations, shrimp paddies and the Taman National Park.

For detection of forest damage a combination of optic and radar satellite data is useful. With optic data changes in greenness and leaf area can be detected and small changes in both health and caused by management can thus be monitored.  Radar data can be used to detect and estimate the effects of wind throws even if the sky continues to be cloudy as often during winter and autumn.

windthrowsClearings of different sizes displayed with a plant phenology index at a test site in mid Sweden.

With very high resolution imagery the status of individual trees can be monitored and single tress detected an mapped. This is of interest for both forestry and park management. In combination with lidar data more information can be extracted and presented as texture and height are important information distinguishing between trees, shrubs and other vegetation.

TradkarteringTrees mapped in the southern Swedish city Jönköping, displaying the analytical strength in the combination of EO and lidar data.