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woodnicer

Plotting trees on a map

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I want to plot all oaks in my woodland on a map along with the girth of each tree. It’s more to leave for future generations really although it would be interesting to be able to see where the trees are on a map to plan for lanting and thinning.

 

Do any members know of softwhere that could help or is a compass and measuring wheel the best way forward.

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If you sketch where they are then join each point to make triangles you can then measure and plot on a CAD program (each tree will have two distances to neighbouring trees). To get a GPS position that accurate you'd need a ground relay station or other costly equipment. You could then use the compass to make one bearing to align the whole lot

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Triangulation and resighting is one method, but is susceptible to repeated errors that will throw out tree locations significantly, particularly the further you get away from the source error when plotting.

 

You could use chain and offset method which would be more accurate, particularly for smaller areas, but its quite tedious to apply over a large area and will take a lot of hours in the field to complete.

 

Then again you could design a network of ground control points eg semi-permanent wooden stakes, locate these with accuracy using whatever method, and take offset measurements to the trees from them.

 

There are other suggestions I could make - but this would be easier if I had more information from you. As follows:

 

- How big is the woodland area?

- Can you provide a map/google image?

- Roughly how many trees do you plan to plot (if you know)?

- How competent are you with topographic surveying?

- Do you have much GIS experience?

 

I take your comment about software that you don't currently have any GIS software to use, but i'll just make the point that mapping software is simply that ie it makes maps - its not necessarily a GIS.

 

Ultimately, you still have to go out in the field and collect the base data to feed into the software somehow.

 

So, if you give a bit more information, I should be able to give you a solution here.

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Wow , this is sounding a lot more complicated than I thought

 

I was hoping my 10-year-old son could do it!

 

The woodland covers 10 acres

I am not competent with topographic surveying

I have no experience with GIS.

I would imagine there are around 50 oak trees.

 

 

 

I have to use an electric wheelchair because I was paralysed in a car accident.

 

I'm not sure whether that makes it any easier!

:001_smile:

 

 

- Can you provide a map/google image?

- Roughly how many trees do you plan to plot (if you know)?

- How competent are you with topographic surveying?

- Do you have much GIS experience?

 

Triangulation and resighting is one method, but is susceptible to repeated errors that will throw out tree locations significantly, particularly the further you get away from the source error when plotting.

 

You could use chain and offset method which would be more accurate, particularly for smaller areas, but its quite tedious to apply over a large area and will take a lot of hours in the field to complete.

 

Then again you could design a network of ground control points eg semi-permanent wooden stakes, locate these with accuracy using whatever method, and take offset measurements to the trees from them.

 

There are other suggestions I could make - but this would be easier if I had more information from you. As follows:

 

- How big is the woodland area?

- Can you provide a map/google image?

- Roughly how many trees do you plan to plot (if you know)?

- How competent are you with topographic surveying?

- Do you have much GIS experience?

 

I take your comment about software that you don't currently have any GIS software to use, but i'll just make the point that mapping software is simply that ie it makes maps - its not necessarily a GIS.

 

Ultimately, you still have to go out in the field and collect the base data to feed into the software somehow.

 

So, if you give a bit more information, I should be able to give you a solution here.

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You can plot directly into Google maps. I was shown how once but I forgot.

 

Alternatively, open up Google Earth, find the trees, open the page as big as possible with nothing else in the screen. Press 'print screen' and then open up Paint and press 'paste'. Physically print the picture. Then try to position each canopy to the one you are measuring and annotate your map by hand.

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Adam, that doesn't make... Oh hang on a minute.

 

Suggesting Google Earth/Maps is actually a decent idea if getting around the site to collect the field data is problematic.

 

I would go to site and spot the locations of a couple of very obvious Oaks, in locations that cannot be anything else. Then you will be able to look through the image knowing exactly what a confirmed couple of Oaks looks like from above (they have a particular tone of green that you will use to distinguish them from other trees)

 

Open your Google Earth/Maps and follow the screen dump procedure Adam advises above, but if you want to make a decent map, you need the next step.

 

Go online and download QGIS. Its an open source GIS with many online tutorials that you can use to guide you.

 

You will then be able to upload the screen dump (to scale would be best, so you would need to know the length of a boundary fence line for example then calculate the scale of the image), then once it is georeferenced into QGIS, you will be able to plot markers over the tops of the Oak locations, which if your scale is right, will provide accurate co-ordinates of the trees and subsequently you can create an accurate map - mainly from the office.

 

Then, it depends on how much time you want spend on this. You could go on to make a geodatabase that will, for example, display data about each tree such as tree ID (T1, T2 etc.), DBH, height etc whatever you want to put in to the schedule for each tree.

 

So, this way, not so much field work but you can still end up with an accurate piece of work.

 

Best of luck with it.

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