A web-based tree crown condition training and evaluation tool for urban and community forestry
Training personnel for natural resource related field work can be a costly and time-consuming process. For that reason, web-based training is considered by many to be a more attractive alternative to on-site training. The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station unit with Virginia Tech cooperators in Blacksburg, Va., are in the process of constructing a web site that will provide web-based training to FIA crews, urban foresters, and citizen scientists in the area of urban tree monitoring. The site will also have a Testing Module to evaluate those receiving the training. We are also developing a Do-It-Yourself Crown Analysis module that will allow people to upload digital images of their trees for customized analysis. This analysis will utilize our automated image processing to determine and monitor crown characteristics. Initially, the web site will focus primarily on tree crown characteristics, but will eventually contain information on site and bole characteristics, as well.