The aim of the research is to determine how 3D data from image matching can be used in forest inventories. Different image acquisition platforms such are studied including traditional manned aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and satellites.

Over the last 10-12 years, airborne laser scanning has evolved into the most important method of data capture in resource registration for forestry planning. Do we stand by a crossroads where the aerial images will recapture the role of the most important source of data for remote measurements of forest resources?

The development of digital camera for aerial photo and photogrammetric matching of spot clouds means that image matching is an interesting alternative to laser scanning in forest landing. Airborne laser scanning according to the area method is today the dominant method of assessment for forestry planning in Europe. Elevation data from image matching can be obtained at a significantly lower cost than laser data and can be used directly in today’s production runs instead of laser data. Image matching assumes that you have an existing terrain model from laser scanning.

We have tested image matching in fresh life project and we are currently work on developing new predictors from image-based point cloud useful to map forest inventories variables and forest structure variables.