Remote Sensing & GIS 

It's Our Nature!

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Case study: Achieving ultra-high resolution

(1 cm GSD) for identifying invasive plant species

The Challenge

  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC) needed a safe, effective and low-cost method to control the spread of Australian tree fern (ATF) across thousands of acres of extremely remote and rugged terrain on Kaua'i.

  • Satellite imagery was ineffective due to variable as well as persistent cloud cover and shadows, image distortions due to high topographic relief, and lack of sufficient detail from coarse spatial resolution.

 

RMH Solution 

  • RMH developed an innovative aerial mapping system to detect ATF individuals and measure progress of TNC's efforts against this large-scale invasion.

  • Because human visual interpretation is superior to automated image analysis, our focus has been on making that task more efficient by providing the highest level of detail possible..

 

Results

  • Reliable identification of invasive and native plants is now possible using ultra-high spatial resolution (1 cm GSD) ortho-rectified imagery.

  • We have helped save time and effort in the field via desktop GIS reconaissance to inform precision herbicide applications and monitor eradication success.

  • The success of this breakthrough technology has led to numerous weed mapping projects to protect watersheds throughout the state of Hawai'i.

  • TNC used our imagery as an outreach tool, testing the power of crowdsourcing for conservation in the Tomnod Hawai'i Challenge.

 

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