3D precision forestry is one of the main tasks in CoE-LaSR, which the partners have strongly focused on since 2007. During 2014-2016 all major players in forest sector in Finland have taken 3D precision forestry as one of their core development tasks. CoE-LaSR-researchers have worked to develop more precise and more accurate inventory systems, even at individual tree level since 1999 . Many studies have concluded that single-tree-level information will play an important role in the next generation’s forest mapping systems that will be based on multisource approach. Combining airborne-, terrestrial- and mobile laser scanning methods offers a chance to get exceptionally precise information about the forest resources.
Recently we have developed automated field inventory techniques to provide field reference for individual-tree based precision forest inventory. A solution proving accurate georeferenced point clouds using robotic Graphslam is depicted in Graph SLAM correction for single scanner MLS forest data under boreal forest canopy (2017), linking UAV and autonomous car for forest referencing is depicted in Autonomous Collection of Forest Field Reference—The Outlook and a First Step with UAV Laser Scanning (2017). Automated matching of terrestrial laser point clouds can be read from Automated matching of multiple terrestrial laser scans for stem mapping without the use of artificial references (2017) and use of UAV photogrammetric point clouds in individual tree detection can be found from Individual Tree Detection and Classification with UAV-Based Photogrammetric Point Clouds and Hyperspectral Imaging (2017). One new solution for cost-effective forest inventory is also to exploit the GNSS signals and crowdsourcing process. Additionally, laser scanning can also be used in developing new methods for mapping and monitoring forest health. (See Junttila et al.)
By 2025, the Finnish forest industry reaches for 30% cost savings in wood supply chain through more precise forest resource information. Currently the costs are about 1.7 billion euros annually. Next generation forest information systems are also part of Finnish Governments bioeconomy key project.