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LANDFIRE: Exploring the use of Lidar to Map Vegetation Structure

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LANDFIRE (LF) scientists are exploring the use of lidar data for canopy structure mapping. Incorporating lidar data into vegetation mapping methods has shown to be promising, however it is still being investigated.

The utility of lidar data for canopy structure mapping has been evaluated by LF scientists for some time. Algorithms were developed for mapping forest canopy height and forest canopy cover across the state of Alaska and were implemented in LF 2010 and 2012 respectively. Lidar data were also used in mapping forest height and cover in the U.S. affiliated Pacific and Caribbean islands as part of LF 2010 since little or no field data were available depicting vegetation structure. While LF is planning to use airborne collections for LF 2016 Remap, LF is also looking at future spaceborne data that will be available from ICESat-2 and hopefully the GEDI mission. The challenge for LF is to take advantage of the best available data while maintaining consistency of mapped products across the country. The methods being developed will continue to be refined as the LF Remap project progresses.

Last updated: October 1, 2015


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