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Efficiencies of Traditional and Digital Measurement Technologies for Forest Operations

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Higher-precision technologies may increase measurement accuracy and efficiency for operational layout while decreasing total planning costs. Although a number of trials have been completed on the potential implementation of some of these new technologies, few have quantified the benefits of such devices in an operational setting. Unit boundaries for 16 (∼1 ac) units were measured by three surveying techniques, comprising (1) a string box, manual compass, and clinometer; (2) a laser, digital compass, and digital data collector; and (3) a GPS. Collected data were compared to a fourth benchmark method established with a total station. Techniques were statistically analyzed and error distributions were developed at either a unit or an individual data-point scale. Time and cost studies were conducted to determine the overall efficiencies of each technique. Our results should assist forest resource managers in their decisions when selecting alternate measurement tools for collecting spatial data. West. J. Appl. For. 20(2):138–143.

Keywords: Measurement technologies; efficiency; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest operations; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Engineering, College of Forestry Oregon State University Corvallis OR 97331 Phone: (541) 737-4219;, Fax: (541) 737-4316, Email: jim.kiser@oregonstate.edu 2: Hancock Forest Management Vancouver WA 98683 3: Department of Forest Engineering, College of Forestry Oregon State University Corvallis OR 97331

Publication date: April 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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