MapInfo / Forestry Users Meeting - 10/29/03


The MapInfo/Forestry Users Group hosted an informal gathering in conjunction with the "Form and Function of GIS in Forest Management" conference presented by the Western Forestry and Conservation Association, on October 29, 2003 in Willsonville, OR.   About 90 participants attended this conference which consisted of 7 Panel group presentations related to various aspects of Forestry / GIS.  The MapInfo Professional software was mentioned as the preferred tool at least once on nearly every single panel.  In fact, MapInfo was mentioned so often that towards the end of the conference the moderator requested a "show of hands" as to the software participants currently use. Nearly half the hands went up for MapInfo.  It was clear to all conference attendees that the MapInfo Professional software has undoubtedly defined itself as a viable, acceptable tool for GIS practices related to Forest Management.

The MapInfo / Forestry Users Group meeting was very well attended.  Over 25 participants stopped by the meeting.   Several traveled from as far away as Northern California as well as many locations in Washington State.   A number of the participants were also presenters on the conference panels.  The meeting itself was somewhat informal, offering an opportunity for individuals to meet fellow MapInfo Users for the first time.   

Tony Cooley demonstrated a few custom software offerings which provide routines to assist with the maintenance of Timber Inventory / Growth Model data, Harvest Unit Planning, Analysis and Execution and for automated Map Printing capabilities.  He also demonstrated various aspects of the newer features of MapInfo which greatly enhance its ability to create and edit spatial data, as well as easily distribute data and maps via MapInfo's provided ability to generate HTML Image maps.

Mr. Phil Woods, of Port Blakely Tree Farms provided an excellent demonstration of the tools he has developed over the past 8 years as their GIS Manager. He began with a very impressive application (CatchmentCalc), based on MapInfo's grid capabilities. This tool offered the ability to generate regions which define a drainage area, for a user selected position.  Phil also demonstrated the wide variety of tools Port Blakely uses to manage their timberlands in the Western U.S. and in New Zealand.  The easy to use interface Phil has created offered field foresters the ability to create "working regions", field maps and update attributes in a variety of internal data bases, among other things.  The demonstration Phil provided the Users Group, complemented quite well his talk the next day on how his GIS is organized and administered across the world.

Dispite the fact Ms. Robin Harkins (GIS Analyst of Roseburg Forest Products) was the opening  conference speaker the next morning, she concluded the meeting with a demonstration on some of the capabilities of the recently released MapInfo Professional Version 7.5.  Using MapInfo's Web Map Server (WMS) capabilities, Robin was able via the Internet, and from within MapInfo, to access a color LandSat mosaic from a JPL server as well as 1 meter DOQ images from Microsoft TerraServer.  Most everyone agreed this capability shows much promise.  Robin also demonstrated several additional ease of use and edit related features.

No date was established for the next MapInfo / Forestry Users Group meeting although it will likely be in the Spring of 2004 and in Washington State.

Data Directions wishes to thank the following for their generous contributions for the refreshments of this event:

- Roseburg Forest Products; Dillard, OR.

- Menasha Forest Products Company; North Bend OR.

- Giustina Land and Timber; Eugene, OR.

- Green Crow Management Services; Port Angeles, WA.

- Barnes and Associates, Inc; Roseburg, OR.

- Lone Rock Timber Company; Roseburg, OR.

Questions/Comments please send us an email.  or call: (541) 345-4MAP.

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