Canadian Forest Service Publications

Semi-automatic individual tree crown analysis of forests from high spatial resolution satellite images: Comparison with a Quebec ecoforestry map. 2019. François A. Gougeon, Pierre Labrecque, Michel Guérin and Donald G. Leckie. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Ottawa. 24 p.

Year: 2019

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39557

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

Plain Language Summary

In Quebec, as in other Canadian provinces, the conventional process for creating forest inventories requires substantial human and material resources. The availability of high spatial resolution satellite images opens the door to a new approach previously only possible with aerial images: a semi-automatic analysis at the individual tree crown (ITC) level.

To verify this approach, we analysed QuickBird satellite images of two regions within the Laurentian Mountains in collaboration with private industry and the provincial government. We used the CFS-developed ITC Suite to delineate individual tree crowns on the panchromatic images, and classified them by species using the multispectral images. For each forest inventory polygon, we added new information that described rather precisely its forest content.

We compared the results to the conventional forest inventory of the time. They show that this is a viable approach to species assessment for forest inventory purposes and thus may replace the image interpretation that is still typically carried out.

Also available under the title:
Analyse semi-automatique des forêts par l’approche dite « à l’arbre près », à partir d’images satellitaires en haute résolution spatiale : comparaison avec une carte écoforestière du Québec (English)

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