The success of any management strategy is predicated on adequate and timely information pertinent to the functional parameters of operations. The forest based industry has a special form on information need wherein its primary raw material is derived from a living, dynamic vegetative complex; the forest. Such a forest resource information system, to be viable, must portray the forest at a point in time, and mirror change as it occurs.
Traditionally, three data sources have been utilized in forest related information systems; imagery (aerial photographs), timber inventory and line maps as an output product combining the salient features of imagery and associated attributes. Of the three, only tabular data have been in a form compatible for computer processing, updating and retrieval.
Remote sensing, utilizing digital image processing technology, provides an opportunity, when combined with an interactive digital mapping system, to intergrate the three functional data bases; vis., imagery, maps and tabular inventory, into one geo-referenced information system. The resulting multistructural data base will be managed and organized through mini-host computer system. The St. Regis Forest Resource Information System (FRIS) represents such a scheme, applied in a cost effective operational environment.
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