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Australian State Launches Machine Learning Tree Mapping Tools

Using machine learning, Victoria’s Department of Environment, Lands, Water and Planning (DELWP) makes it easier than ever to obtain information on the extent of tree cover in the city. statewide. Victoria is Australia’s most densely populated state. It works with a basic spatial data suite called Vicmap.

Vicmap Vegetation has launched three new machine learning products that will help in a range of land management applications, from bushfires to constituency planning. Machine learning uses artificial intelligence to find patterns in massive amounts of data. For Vicmap Vegetation, the process identifies trees from the collection of high-resolution aerial photographs of the state and elevation data of the state. Coordinated imaging program.

The updated Vicmap Vegetation portfolio provides detailed data on tree cover and tree points in selected urban areas in the state of Victoria. This is the first time that machine learning has been used to update and build a Vicmap product.

Statewide dataset in under a week

The innovative approach means that the extent of tree cover can now be regularly updated as new images are acquired through the coordinated imaging program, which was not previously possible.

With machine learning, a statewide dataset can be created or refreshed in less than a week using cloud-based parallel processing. This compares to manual labor-intensive methods estimated to 100 full-time employees over two years to produce the same result.

Two of the new products are statewide products: tree extent (20 cm resolution raster) and tree density (vector). The Tree Urban product displays the centers and heights of trees. It was created for the metropolitan areas in four regional councils (Wangaratta, Shepparton, Sale and Ballarat) as well as for the Melbourne metropolis.

Lidar as a new input data set

Regional focus offers an important opportunity for regional planners, environmentalists and spatial analysts to build on tree information held by local councils. It will be possible to expand this dataset as new input datasets such as Lidar become available.

Victoria’s basic spatial data underpin the systems we rely on every day. Vicmap products are viewed over 100 million times a year on Victorian government digital platforms, supporting essential services, industry and innovation in the Victorian economy. Geospatial data and expertise are also provided by DEWLP partner FrontierSI.

The updated Vicmap Vegetation portfolio provides detailed data on tree cover and tree points in selected urban areas in the state of Victoria. (Courtesy: Vicmap / State of Victoria)


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