Wednesday, September 24, 2008
High-tech images of Des Moines will direct tree-planting
The nonprofit group Trees Forever plans to use cutting-edge, high-definition images of Des Moines to guide the planting of hundreds of thousands of trees over the next several years.
Trees Forever will unveil the technology and discuss urban forestry issues during a symposium Wednesday in Des Moines.
The University of Vermont analyzed the new laser images collected by plane by the city of Des Moines to show what areas of the city would be good bets for tree plantings. The U.S. Forest Service picked Des Moines as one of three cities in the agency's northeast U.S. region to use the new images.
The imaging is "a gee-whiz thing," said Iowa urban forester Randy Cook of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Called LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, the technology uses laser pulses to develop ultra-detailed maps that show land cover and terrain.
The DNR has been working with other agencies to create statewide images that will aid road-building, hazardous spill responses and more.
The painting is by Nancy Merkle