Sucess Stories

ENFORMA - GIS-tool to map and monitor forest changes

ENFORMA is a software tool using ortho-rectified HR optical EO data to map and monitor forest changes such as forest cuttings and forest damage. It is used togehter with ESRI software and very userfriendly - do not require EO experts. To be implemented in operational forest monitoring.

Service provider: Metria AB
User/Customer: Forest Agency
EOservice: Enforma
If you are interested in finding out more about this service please click here for more information.
Source: Metria

The background to ENFORMA tool is the need to map and monĂ­tor forest changes such as clear-cuts recurrently. In Sweden there are about 40 000 forest cuttings yearly needed to be monitored. This was earlier performed via limited field efforts and personal contacts. The idea was to replace or at least stratify the field efforts by using EO data, but also to raise the quality of the monitoring as a very small proportion of the forest cuttings could be visities i field.

The client, the forest agency, had an IT infrastructure that included a GIS-system with ESRI software and was keen in supporting the existing IT-environment with efficient tools using EO data.

Metria proposed a solution including yearly national coverage of optical EO data and a GIS-tool to compement the existing IT-environment at the client. The EO data should be delivered with national coverage yearly in November and then the GIS-tool should make it possible to map all forest changes, eg 40 000 clear-cuts, by the client in 2-4 weeks. At the end of every year then an updated GIS vector layer with all forest cuttings should be availible and made public. This also includes a quality check of all mapped changes as it may be used for legal monitoring.

The approach was based on exising EO techniques that was refined and made operational in close co-operation with the client. A wide user base supported the efforts and made the introduction of the new methods and tools very smooth and now a corner-stoe in the operational monitoring performed by the Agency.
Implementation details techniques used, research methodology adopted

Before the introduction of the EO data and tools just a small proportion of the forect cuttings was observed and a need to raise the quality of the data collected was necessary. To increase the budget for field efforts was not possible. The importance of adding cost-efficient and transparant tools may not be underestimated and also a strong driving force for this change. The high quality of the new mapping in combination with a environmental-friendly solution (less travelling by car) is considered as key success criteria.

The new solution with objective methods, applied nation-wide, rapid mapping and customer-adaped results in a easy-to-use workflow has significantely raised the efficiency in the client organisationa and also put the client in a position ias a technical fore-runner also very important for the pride in the organisation.