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Standard Errors of Area Estimates Obtained by Traversing and GPS

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In this article, the problem of determining standard errors of area estimates obtained by traversing is addressed. In traversing, a surveyor moves along the boundary of a compartment and makes measurements at certain base points to determine their coordinates. Two cases of traversing are described: the case when coordinates are determined directly using GPS equipment and the case when distances and directions are measured from every base point to the next. It is shown that the problem of determining standard errors of the area estimates is different for the two cases. Formulas are derived from basic assumptions about the measurement errors. The efficiency of the two approaches is compared. It is found that the standard errors for the two methods often are of a similar magnitude but that the size and the shape of a compartment affect what method should be preferred. For. Sci. 44(3):405-413.

Keywords: Compartment polygon; adjustment for closure error; variance formulas for area estimate

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Senior Lecturer at the Department of Forest Resource Management and Geomatics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-90183, Umeå, Sweden--Phone: 46-90-7865908;, Fax: 46-90-778116

Publication date: 1998-08-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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