Digital measurement tools for forestry applications are now becoming affordable for many organizations. One example is a digital range finder that, depending on the instrument, can almost instantly record distance, height, and angular measurements of objects within sight of an observer. Digital range finders have tremendous advantages over traditional manual measurement techniques, but prospective users should understand an instrument's capabilities in order to realize its full potential. We compare the accuracy and reliability of five commercially available digital range finders in taking measurements of a distance course, traverse boundaries, and tree heights. Because we found some significant differences in the capabilities of the instruments we tested, potential users should identify their measurement and accuracy requirements prior to choosing a digital range finder.
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