Saturday, February 18, 2006

Accurate Rangeland Moniotoring

Four complementary software programs that provide cost-effective new methods for monitoring vast tracts of U.S. rangelands have been developed by Agricultural Research Service scientists and a collaborator.

The custom computer applications are geared to aid land managers in collecting and analyzing rangeland-monitoring data.Project coordinator and rangeland scientist D. Terry Booth, with the Cheyenne, Wyoming-based ARS Rangeland Resources Research Unit, received funding from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Booth collaborated with ARS biological science technician Sam Cox and Colorado-based independent programming consultant Robert D. Berryman to create the programs.Light-weight, slow-flying airplanes equipped with a high-resolution digital still camera, a Global Positioning System and computers are used to collect thousands of data images.

The images are then used to measure the risk of soil erosion by quantifying and comparing levels of ground cover over time. Conventional methods, which are time-consuming, require ground crews to collect measurements on foot, using tape measures.Two of the new software applications, LaserLOG and Merge, are bundled with a database, ImageMeasurement, as an interrelated package. The applications provide accurate image-resolution calculations and adjust for factors that affect object-to-camera distance.

The stand-alone application, SamplePoint, allows technicians to measure bare ground and ground cover, such as vegetation, litter and rock. Each data image contains millions of tiny picture elements, or pixels. SamplePoint helps the user visually classify ground cover using 100 sample pixels for each image.

The measurements are then compared with measurements taken from other data images acquired in the same geographic areas over a span of years.Test studies so far show the innovative aerial process to be efficient and cost-effective for monitoring both dry and wet rangeland areas. Copies of the new applications can be obtained by contacting Booth at Terry.Booth@ars.usda.gov.

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AGRI-INFO/FEBRUARY 18, 2006



TITLE: INNOVATIONS IN RANGELAND MONITORING


ALAM BA NINYO NA NA-DEVELOP NG MGA EKSPERTO ANG APAT NA COMPLEMENTARY SOFTWARE PROGRAMS NA EPEKTIBO PARA SA MONITORING NG MALALAWAK NALUPAIN?

ANG CUSTOM COMPUTER APPLICATIONS AY NAGLALAYONG TULUNGAN ANG MGA LAND MANAGER SA PANGONGOLEKTA AT ANALYSIS O PAGSUSURI SA RANGELAND MONITORING DATA.

ANG MGA LAND MANAGER AY GUMAGAMIT NG LIGHT WEIGHT, SLOW FLYING AIRPLANES NA MERONG HIGH RESOLUTION DIGITAL STILL CAMERA, GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM AT COMPUTERS PARA SA KOLEKSIYON NG LIBU LIBONG MGA DATA IMAGES.

ANG MGA DATA NA ITO AY GAGAMITIN PARA MASUKAT ANG PANGANIB NG SOIL EROSION SA PAMAMAGITAN NG QUANTIFICATION AT COMPARISON SA MGA ANTAS NG LUPA SA BAWAT PAGKAKATAON.

SA PAMAMAGITAN NG TRADISYUNAL NA PAMAMARAAN, KAILANGANG GUMUGOL NG MARAMING ORAS DAHIL SA DEPLOYMENT NG MGA GROUND CREW PARA SUKATIN ANG MGA PANGUNAHING DATA SA PAMAMAGITAN NG PAGGAMIT NG TAPE MEASURE.

DALAWA SA NA-DEVELOP NA SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS, LASERLOG AT MERGE, AY PINAG-ISA SA ISANG DATABASE- ANG IMAGEMEASUREMENT. ANG PAGGAMIT NITO AY NAKAPAGBIBIGAY NG ACCURATE IMAGE RESOLUTION CALCULATIONS AT NAGKAKAROON NG ADJUSTMENT SA MGA DETALYE NA NAKAKAAPEKTO NG OBJECT TO CAMERA DISTANCE.

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