Mapping forested areas can often be difficult due to their remote location. According to Jimmy Wilson, a forester at ECKY Surveys a big problem in their industry is being able to get up-to-the-minute images, perhaps following a storm, clearfell or even to monitor disease. Sending a surveyor into what is often a remote area is very expensive. Having used satellite imagery for the last 20 years, he wanted to see how Geocento could assist him with his most recent project; mapping a former Opencast mine over a densely forested area in Scotland.

“I was asked to survey the ‘site and soil types’ over an extensive area of former opencast working following its ‘restoration’. (Surface Coal Mining) A basic tool for almost any field survey is a good aerial image at a workable resolution and one that can also be used in GIS applications. In this instance the most recent image was almost 5 years old and showed the actual workings when the site was abandoned. No images were available of its present structure and this made surveying/mapping very difficult and inaccurate.

Using a drone was a possibility but would be expensive and not give easily usable images. On approaching Geocento I was informed that a satellite passed over the country every day and depending on the weather/cloud would give me the required image and at a selection of resolutions. A sample was provided and I selected a resolution and image area. This covered an area of 125km2 and could be zoomed to at least 1:7000. The aerial image in effect was only 2 days old and provided the best mapping tool possible.

Looking at the wider forestry picture this would be an ideal tool/source for all survey work e.g. recent storm damage, areas of clear fell, crop health surveys etc. A forest is a dynamic, growing and ever changing environment and images of even one year old often do not clearly illustrate routes for crop access, etc”.

For more information and further details on how satellite imagery can assist with your asset management,please get in touch.

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