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.



We map water

Water can be mapped for several reasons and in several different ways.
Together with WSP has Geografiska informationsbyrån mapped the surface area of hydro power reservoirs in northern Sweden. This was done as part of analysis of the current water volume in the reservoirs and can be done on a regular basis to monitor the potential supply potential of hydro energi.


For the Swedish Geological Survey, SGU,   Geografiska informationsbyrån has  developed a method to detect ditches and other hydrological disturbances in Swedish peatlands. The method is based on lidara data and atomated analyses of the Swedish National Height model with a spatial resolution of two meters.


Risk of flooding can be mapped with to create risk maps for spatial planning and insurance  companies, e.g.. The map below is a flood risk map over Järfälla municipality north of Stockholm based on the 2m National Height grid of Sweden.

The future extent of water can be mapped, e.g. for the since more than 100 years planned and debated Stiegler´s Gorge reservoir and hydropower dam in Tanzania, cutting of the Rufiji river and if built creating a huge inland water body in the Selous  wilderness. The analysis was made in GEE.


Mapping water can lead to mapping of none water. Oil plattforms in the North Sea are distinkt in the Sentinel 1 data. Water is dark and the platforms are bright as stars on a night sky in August.


Sometimes the water is ubstructing the mapping as is the case of habitat mapping in coastal waters. Sentinel 2 data is a excellent base for habitat mapping in clear waters, and can be used habitat mapping even in Swedish waters.Namnlöst


We map cities

Geografiska informationsbyrån has together with EIA experts at Calluna mapped the City of Jönköping in southern Sweden. Focus of the mapping was trees and the ecological values associated with trees and forest in relation to the planning for the high speed railway ostlänken.


Infrared aerial ortho imagery was used together with Lidar and vegetation data. Object based classification methods was used to increase the resolution of the vegetation data and to extract information that was missing. One of the results are delineation of tree crowns of city trees and areas with trees, valuable information for ecologist and arborists working with city trees, connectivity and green infrastructure within cities.


Object based methods can be successfully used both to identify individual trees and to differentiate between forest stands with different species and tree crown characteristics.


The mapping was done with a state of the art processing chain based on a combination of open source software such as QGIS and Fusion together with Ecognition for segmentation and object based classification.

The methods can in addition to identification of trees be used to count cars at parking lots, ships in harbors and containers at freight terminals or to assess the growth of forest plants at plantation sites.

Frihet att brinna

Sedan två och en halv vecka är jag egen företagare, stolt ägare och inspirerad partner. Tillsammans med två vänner och kollegor, Sara och Greger, har jag startat och påbörjat processen att skapa Geografiska Informationsbyrån. Bara namnet gör mig nervös, det lovar något, det tvingar och formar oss. Det kräver att vi är noggranna och seriösa samtidigt som det ger möjlighet till ironi, humor och självdistans.

Än så länge är friheten fantastisk, vi har ett lounge-medlemskap på Epicenter Stockholm, inga fasta platser, inga fasta tider och inga krav på tidsredovisning eller debitering. Vårt mål och vår uppgift är att skapa det vi brinner för. När den tiden kommer, när formandet bär frukt och leveranserna till kunderna skall färdigställas kommer tidsredovisningen bli viktig, närvaron nödvändig och debiteringen i fokus. Men nu är vi i brand, i brand för kunder, i brand för affärer, i brand för geodata, satellitbilder och algoritmer; vi är i brand för Geografiska Informationsbyrån.

Med hjälp av Olle Torgny har vi tagit fram ett varumärke, stött och blött allt det vi är och sökt ett sätt att kondensera ner detta i en form eller ett koncept. Hur mycket är namnet, hur mycket är innehållet. Hur mycket skall vi vara som medverkande i filmen Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy och hur mycket skall vi signalera cutting edge och geodata-innovation. En intressant och spännande erfarenhet för förstagångs-entreprenörer i brand.

På den här platsen kommer vi beskriva våra projekt visioner och drömmar. Det kommer vara mycket satellitbilder och miljö, massor av geodata och innovation, små utredningar av rent intresse -allt det som vi brinner för.

Tobias Edman