Mapping GeoTagged Photos
The Forest Technology Blog
by JwL
4M ago
This is a handy little tool that I use in the field and want to capture photos to add to a property map. There are several ways to do this, but since most foresters are familiar with ArcGIS, I will describe how this works with an iPhone and ArcGIS Online. Several reasons I’ve used this include, inspecting logging jobs, timber cruising, documenting wildlife sightings, capturing unique areas or items, and locating property corners. The only tools you need are a smartphone and a subscription to ArcGIS Online. The main thing to remember is that the images need to have location data stored in the E ..read more
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EUDR and Forest Traceability
The Forest Technology Blog
by JwL
4M ago
New traceability requirements brought on by the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) will soon go into effect. Companies, trade groups, and operators doing business with the EU are working to develop solutions to comply with this new regulation. At this point it seems no one has a handle on how this will work in practice. Current sourcing and handling fall short of the traceability requirements due to the complexities involved in procurement and the acceptability of blending products through mass balance systems. Tracking source materials for composite goods like paper, packaging, pe ..read more
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Cloud Storage with Amazon S3 Service
The Forest Technology Blog
by JwL
9M ago
This post is about cloud-based data storage. Simple Storage Service (S3) is one of the most used cloud services on Amazon AWS. There are many reasons why a company might want to store data in the cloud, such as for building cloud-native applications, for archives, or even for hosting static websites. S3 provides object storage within containers called buckets. Think of buckets like directories or folders on your hard drive, each having a unique name. There is no limit to the number of objects you can store in a bucket, or on the bucket storage size. However, there is an individual size limit o ..read more
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Modern Full-Stack Web Applications for a Fraction of the Time and Cost
The Forest Technology Blog
by JwL
2y ago
Modern web applications are useful software solutions that can be accessed from any web-connected device. Most of the newer applications are responsive (i.e. the user-interface adjusts automatically to suit the device viewport size) and are compatible with most modern Web Browsers. However, a professional quality web application can take hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of development time to create, deploy, and maintain, often reaching into the tens-of-thousands of dollars for the total cost of ownership. That’s where rapid development, or “low code”, software solutions have an advantage ..read more
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Learning a Software Language: R or Python?
The Forest Technology Blog
by JwL
3y ago
Ever wondered if you should learn a programming language? If so, stick around. In this article, my goal is to present a high-level view of two languages I have found useful in my forestry career for automating repetitive tasks — R and Python. My hope is that someone may have a similar desire to learn one, or both. Even for a beginner, the basics can be learned in just a few hours. There are many online tutorials available for learning a software language. I have provided a few of my favorite resources at the end of the article. R and Python are common programming languages used for data wrangl ..read more
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Linear Programming for Short-term Harvest Scheduling
The Forest Technology Blog
by JwL
3y ago
Harvest scheduling is a resource planning process aimed at deciding what areas of the forest (i.e.; stands) to harvest and when. On a small scale, Forest Managers may simply rely on experience, memory, and/or field notes when planning harvests. However, on a larger scale, this is inefficient and highly frowned upon. At its core, the Forester’s harvest schedule is a plan about what resources to allocate and where. Linear Programming (LP) is a mathematical method used to “... allocate limited resources to competing activities in an optimal manner.” (J. Buongiorno & J.K. Gilless, 2003, p.9 ..read more
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STEMS: Stem-Profile Model
The Forest Technology Blog
by JwL
3y ago
In 1991, the USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station created a set of stem-profile taper models for 58 southern species and species groups. The Research Paper, known as SE-282, can be downloaded here. The research demonstrates how profile models are used to “predict stem diameter at any height” and “solve for volume to a given height or diameter”. The limitations of the presented model are the vast number of parameters involved for each species/region combination, plus the complexity of the calculations required for each section of the stem (i.e.; butt, lower, middle and up ..read more
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Technology Lock-In
The Forest Technology Blog
by JwL
3y ago
Forest consulting and management firms often rely on commercial GIS software to map, store and analyze data about their land holdings. It’s not uncommon for such companies to spend tens of thousands of dollars annually to maintain commercial software licenses. In this article, I’d like to challenge the status-quo and ask, “For small to mid-sized firms is this expense really necessary?” Before we go much further, let me start by saying that I have used commercial GIS software most of my career. As an advanced GIS user/programmer, I’ve spent thousands of hours learning and using commercial deskt ..read more
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External Data: Acquire Data using APIs
The Forest Technology Blog
by JwL
3y ago
Data can come from internal or external sources. In many cases, companies need access to data that is not provided by the ongoing operation of the business. For example, forestry businesses may rely on products and applications developed using regional timber prices, historical weather patterns, location-based services, or market indices. In our modern connected world, data acquisition is an important business function, and most of us are comfortable locating data on the Internet. But what does that process look like, and how efficient is it? This post will look at one way that companies can a ..read more
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Comparing Financial Analysis with Excel and Python/Pandas
The Forest Technology Blog
by JwL
3y ago
Analysts tend to naturally gravitate to Microsoft Excel when comparing Forest Investment projects. Early in my career, I became very interested in mastering Excel, and learned to build elaborate Spreadsheets using Excel’s built-in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) language. As I became more experienced with Excel, I saw that it was not the best fit for every situation. Some of the drawbacks of Excel I noticed, include issues with sharing Workbooks, inflexible Worksheet configurations, and too much time spent troubleshooting errors in formulas. In this article, I’d like to compare Excel with ..read more
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