Forest Knowledge Management via Mobile Data Collection

Forest lake in summer

Forest lake in summer (Photo credit: Axel-D)

Forest Knowledge Management, and the preservation of forests and other natural resources, has long been a concern of many government organizations. According to a recent European Commission report, tropical forests alone are disappearing at a rate of about 13 million hectares per year, an area approximately the size of Greece. This deforestation may happen for several natural reasons, such as illness caused by pest infestations, flooding, and wildfires accidentally set by lightning strikes or caused through arson.

Satisfying humanity’s needs, while vital for human survival, also contributes to deforestation. Trees may disappear due to the need for inexpensive fuel. Uncontrolled logging by businesses for economic profit or to create areas for pastureland, residential structures or commercial buildings can interfere with the natural forest ecosystem and hamper the regrowth of urban or rural forests.

Consequently, governments must balance the needs of the human population against the necessity of forest conservation. To accomplish this goal, it is vital for forestry data to be gathered and analyzed as a tool for making accurate and prudent policy decisions in forest knowledge management.

Field technicians have traditionally gathered data through field surveys and sample collection. With the evolution of mobile data technology and global positioning satellite systems, the collection of data for analysis and knowledge management has grown more efficient.

The potential applications that mobile data collection for forest knowledge management vary widely. Data that could be recorded includes tree height, density, diameter and health, as well as landscape topography and the proximity of lakes, rivers, and roads. Other potential uses include research by scientific organizations, vegetation inventory and the mapping of millions of timberland acres destroyed by wildfire or flooding.

By leveraging the technological advantages of mobile data collection, government agencies are now able to make more informed decisions to ensure that forested areas are properly protected and preserved from complete destruction. A mobile data collection system like COMMANDmobile® provides:

Scalability: The COMMANDmobile system may be used to gather forestry data within local communities, throughout states or across countries.

Power: Since the COMMANDmobile harnesses the powerful storage capability of both smartphones and tablet computers, its data collection possibilities are greatly increased as compared to traditional methods of manual data collection.

Geotagging capability: Data collected through the COMMANDmobile system is easy to tag with geographical information, so that decision makers may create sensible policies based on more precise data.

Ease of use: COMMANDmobile can be easily tailored to suit the educational level of field workers, reducing the necessity for costly and time-consuming training.

Two-way communication: With the COMMANDmobile system, field workers and central offices may easily communicate with one another through e-mail and send or receive data with ease.

For more details about the COMMANDmobile system or to request a demo, visit the COMMANDmobile website for more information.

Related links:
Mobile Technology Transforms Knowledge Management in Queensland, Australia – PDF
2012 Report from the National Center For Landscape Fire Analysis – PDF

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About DeAnna Davidson

DeAnna Davidson is a proven technologist and business leader who is passionate about the power of mobile computing to revolutionize a business or industry, and dedicated to helping organizations use mobile, wireless, and web technologies to their advantage.

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