Publication Date

2016

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Pingel, Thomas J.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Department

Department of Geography

LCSH

Optical radar--Illinois--De Kalb||Urban forestry--Illinois--De Kalb||Trees in cities--Illinois--De Kalb||Forest surveys--Illinois--De Kalb--Remote sensing

Abstract

Urban and metropolitan areas have grown significantly during the 21st century. With more than 50% of the global population living in cities, they are uniquely susceptible to high temperatures, poor air quality, and increases in peak storm water runoff during inclement weather; however, urban and metropolitan areas often have significant forest resources that can greatly ameliorate these factors. To maintain urban forests and maximize their benefits, tree surveys are often performed requiring extensive fieldwork. However, automatable techniques using LiDAR data and aerial orthoimagery have the potential to provide similar metrics over larger areas, more rapidly, and at lower cost. This study sought to develop a method to accurately and efficiently estimate tree height and stem diameters of roadside trees using tools readily available to geographic information system (GIS) operators. Incorporating two prior parkway tree surveys for the City of DeKalb as a starting point, I repaired and updated an urban tree database using orthoimagery, utilized LiDAR to estimate heights of new and existing trees, and estimated diameters using allometric equations. Results suggest that LiDAR can reasonably estimate tree height in an urban environment (R² = 0.80; RMSE = 3.36 m) and further utilize those estimates to predict diameter at breast height (dbh) using a simple regression (R² = 0.85; RMSE = 0.13 m) derived from a sample of approximately 1,000 trees.

Comments

Advisors: Thomas J. Pingel.||Committee members: Courtney Gallaher; David Goldblum; Wei Luo.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations and maps.

Extent

vi, 80 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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