Small Woodland Owners' Group

Mapping Woods

Topics that don't easily fit anywhere else!

Mapping Woods

Postby outeredge » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:26 pm

Does anyone have any advice on how to map a wood? I have a few goals;

    To record all of the trees, their species and location
    To help me plan out a route for a walking path through the woods

I've tried to look for an app that would run off GPS on my phone so I could walk around and hit a button as I approach a tree to log it, but haven't found anything.

If not digital, how would one go about mapping such a diverse area like a wood and get the location of the trees right. I don't exactly have time to mark out and segment the wood into square metres!!
outeredge
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 5:20 am

Re: Mapping Woods

Postby Wendelspanswick » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:16 pm

Most strand alone GPS units give you the ability to mark Waypoints on a map. If you could borrow or buy a GPS you could record a GPS track while walking the perimeter of your wood to mark the boundary and then stand next to each tree and mark a waypoint. On my Garmin Etrex the first waypoint is 001 then 002 etc. you could mark the first waypoint and then make a note of the tree species.
I imagine there must be an app that allows waypoints to be marked.
Wendelspanswick
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:03 am
Location: Somerset

Re: Mapping Woods

Postby boxerman » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:59 pm

The problem with that is that gps accuracy can be up to 50 feet out and in the middle of a wood it could well be more if signals are interrupted so I'd suspect any map produced would have about the same accuracy as a Tudor map of the world i.e. 'there be dragons here'...

I'll be interested to see the answers here for future reference and I'm sure someone will have a good answer.
Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
boxerman
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 8:44 am
Location: Leicester

Re: Mapping Woods

Postby greyman » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:12 pm

Try this site:it has a mapping facility.

http://sylva.org.uk/myforest/

Not used it myself but give it a try and let us know if it works or not.
Greyman
greyman
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:09 pm

Re: Mapping Woods

Postby Dexter's Shed » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:13 am

surely you wont need gps to map a path, a lot better to just cut it where you want to go, we cut a winding pathway into an area we wanted as a campsite, then from there, looked at the tops of interesting trees, and cut new paths to them, some paths go nowhere, but just end up at a tree and a bench, to sit and contemplate life
Dexter's Shed
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:29 pm
Location: essex and kent

Re: Mapping Woods

Postby Wendelspanswick » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:34 am

boxerman wrote:The problem with that is that gps accuracy can be up to 50 feet out and in the middle of a wood it could well be more if signals are interrupted so I'd suspect any map produced would have about the same accuracy as a Tudor map of the world i.e. 'there be dragons here'...

I'll be interested to see the answers here for future reference and I'm sure someone will have a good answer.

I disagree with your comment on the accuracy of GPS units. All my experience of GPS units has shown a resolution of less than a meter. An example is when flying my paraglider I managed to drop my iPhone, which I was using to Live Track my flight, onto a scrub and wooded hillside. Using the coordinates uploaded by my iPhone and transferring them to my Garmin GPS it took me to within 0.5M of the gorse bush where my iPhone in its holder was sat.
My flying club has held GPS training days where part of the training is following a previously laid track using just a GPS and results are incredible.
You do get weak spots where lesser GPS's will take a long time to resolve and it would be easier to map a wood after the leaves have dropped but the days of 50ft resolutions are long gone - Geocaching would not exist as an activity if it still did.
Wendelspanswick
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:03 am
Location: Somerset

Re: Mapping Woods

Postby smojo » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:37 am

It's a really good question and one I'd like an answer to. I tried to start a map on paper when I went to view the wood. I just wanted a rough one so I could work on my plans at home - where to plant new trees, a camping area, paths etc and where the main species of trees were 9not even individual ones just groups). I found it almost impossible and figured the only way would be to section it off into squares with rope or string and slowly work my way through it, but realised it would take forever and I'd give up. I still would like to make a rough plan though.

I also want to do a "head count" of tree species. One idea I had is to get one of those little clicker/tally counters that they use to count people in on boats and planes and coaches etc. I think golfers use them too. Only a couple of quid on Ebay. Then pick a species to count and work through methodically. Maybe mark each one counted with a small dot of paint or something harmless. Then do the next species and so on.
smojo
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:47 pm

Re: Mapping Woods

Postby Zathras » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:08 am

I concur regarding GPS, they should be able to give you much better than 50ft.

There is a big difference between proper GPS's and Phones however, typically I've found phones have much less accuracy but quicker lock-on due to cell tower assistance. My rather old Garmin Geko gives very good location at usually well under 10ft (7ft is common) and my iPhone4S often sits at around 20ft in the same location.

The Garmin is clearly not just better at resolution but also much more sensitive during poor signals, the iphone can become very confused at times when the Garmin is doing just fine.

When I'm Geocaching for a tough find then I quite often break out the Garmin and put the cords in manually to get closer than my iphone will get me, although it does require that the cords were reported accurately in the first place! ;)
Zathras
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:01 am
Location: Berkshire

Re: Mapping Woods

Postby outeredge » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:09 pm

greyman wrote:Try this site:it has a mapping facility.

This is really great for putting together a management plan but the mapping facility is only for outlining the areas of woodland so won't allow the detail of trees needed unfortunately.

Dexter's Shed wrote:surely you wont need gps to map a path

I'm a sucker for stats and planning hence the appeal of a detailed map.

I've just remembered TerryH's map I saw a while ago, see this thread viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1727&p=10308 and here for his map;

http://torwoodblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/ ... stats.html

It is very impressive and covers both the mapping and stats we were talking about smojo, I'd like to know exactly how he went about mapping each slice.

I like the idea of using GPS to mark way points if that means I can then extrapolate the data in an accurate digital map, just wish there was something out there to do it. As a web dev I could try and put something together than takes some sort of raw GPS data and produces a live map.
outeredge
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 5:20 am

Re: Mapping Woods

Postby Tarrel » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:42 pm

A possible start would be to obtain a 1:2500 scale OS map of your woodland. OS has agents around the country who can print these centred on a specific grid ref or postcode. There's one in Guildford who I have used. The map should have any fixed features such as fences, tracks, etc marked and you can then use it as a blank canvas to mark your own features, knowing it is scaled accurately. (E.g. if you know that a particular feature is, say, 100 metres from a fence, you can measure the scale distance on the map and mark it in.

Another alternative is Google maps in aerial photo view, as your woodland should show up. Difficult if it is part of a larger, contiguous woodland though.
Tarrel
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:19 pm

Next

Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests