ITC analysis of aerial images


In Canada, forest management inventories are typically done by delineating forest stands and estimating their content via aerial photo interpretation (1:10K to 1:20K), with volume estimates being derived from plot samples and stratification. Recent improvements to this traditional methodology involve digital image acquisitions and soft-copy interpretation. The process is still very time-consuming, costly and subject to interpreters biases, but more importantly, it does not meet the full needs of modern forestry practices.

A modern forest inventory would require additional spatial detail, with increased precision, accuracy and timeliness. Semi-automatic computer analysis of multispectral high spatial resolution (better than 1 m/pixel) digital images from satellites or aerial sensors has the potential to fulfill this mandate. The Individual Tree Crown (ITC) methodology for crown delineation, species classification and regrouping into forest stands can be used successfully with images from aerial sensors.

This Web page summerizes some of the issues that are particular to the ITC analysis of aerial images and aerial datasets.

Project status

  • On-going