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Looking at forestry from a digital lens

posted on 2021-02-26, 00:05 authored by Alan Tan
Forestry is one of the key industries in New Zealand, delivering an export worth of approximately $6.4 billion in 2018 [1]. However, management of forest assets and forestry operations in New Zealand have stuck to the “boots-on-the-ground” approach; relying on sending ground-crews into the field to assess and report on the situation on the ground. Challenges such as scale of forestry plots, size of trees and complexity of work environment in forestry already pose issues for innovation in forestry. With COVID-19 exacerbating existing challenges such as labour and freedom-to-operate, there is now an even stronger motivation to innovate within forestry operations.

In line with the theme for eResearch 2021, we will present current work within our remote sensing and data science research focusing on innovating how New Zealand forestry operates. We will also present some of the challenges and lessons we drew from our experience and journey, thus far, in transforming New Zealand forestry into a high-productive, efficient and technological advance industry sector.

Dr. Alan Tan is a senior data scientist in Scion, where he contributes strategically and technically to Scion’s data science research initiatives. Dr. Tan’s research interest is in the applications of Deep Learning in 3D remote sensing data, data visualisation, distributed systems and high-performance computing. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Waikato.


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