Forests Can Fight Back with Open Source Technology

Average rating: **...
(2.67, 3 ratings)

Using low-cost remote sensing data like that from Google Earth Engine, cloud-computing, a solid database foundation, a few decades of scientific numerical cruft and lots of tricks and tips for creating, building, cutting-pasting-and-kludging together a database with some intelligent software agents for monitoring forests, trees, carbon, and other activities, it’s now possible to create a Frankenstein-like platform for monitoring the globe’s forests. These types of applications can be used for combating deforestation, preventing land degradation, regional and local planning using extreme-but-effective tweaks to existing scientific tools and technologies.

This 40-minute presentation shows the audience how to cobble together a PostgreSQL database, install a few handy R packages like PL/R, and grab some publicly available data to generate a forest monitoring platform to help landscape managers make better decisions using basic design-engineering paradigms to perform quick trade-off analyses that can often take months and years.

Photo of Jeff Hamann

Jeff Hamann

Forest Informatics

Dr. Jeff Hamann, president of Forest Informatics is obsessed with, analyzing data from, developing tools for, and presenting collaborative, geek-friendly stories and solutions for forests, foresters, and forest owners.

He has developed econometrics and forest simulation packages for the R statistical computing environment, has authored a book for the Use-R series from Springer called "Forest Analytics with R’’, and loves to combine the incongruent worlds of tech, humans, and everything that separates them.

He holds a Bachelors of Science in Forestry from Humboldt State University, and an MS and PhD, in Forest Biometrics and Forest Engineering from Oregon State University.

His passions include Forest Management, Operations Research, Computer Science, Geographic Information Systems, Financial Analysis, and of course Open Source Software.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Sheeri K. Cabral
Sheeri K. Cabral
09/04/2011 9:57pm PDT

A video of this talk is available at

Mitsuharu Hadeishi
07/26/2011 8:48am PDT

Great topic but way too much in the weeds of the specifics of scripts and so on. Would have been much more interested to hear the talk at a high level of abstraction.