Trees are a natural resource and for anyone in the business of growing and selling lumber, getting the most for your money is key.
Plus, with only 3 trillion trees on the entire planet, no one wants to see a tree go to waste. Unfortunately about 20 percent of trees harvested are not used and end up on the scrap pile.
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A company based in Ireland called TreeMetrics wants to change that. They are collaborating with the European Space Agency to pull in data from satellites and combine it with aerial and drone photography as well as 3-D laser scanning, also known as LIDAR.
The LIDAR system looks like a camera on a tripod and is manually placed in the forest to image the area.
It's able to produce a 360-degree scan at regular intervals that captures useful details such as the straightness and health of the trees.
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Data from the LIDAR system and the other tools is pulled into a Web-based program that can give a forest owner a more accurate view of the lumber potential before felling a single a tree.
"What Treemetrics aims to deliver is more wood from fewer trees," said TreeMetrics CEO Enda Keane in a press release.