PlanetWatchers launches Foresights analytics platform for commercial forestry

August 15, 2018  - By 0 Comments
Image: PlanetWatchers

Image: PlanetWatchers

The startup PlanetWatchers has developed Foresights, a risk management and geospatial analytics platform designed specifically to help clients manage forestry assets quickly, effectively and accurately.

Foresights identifies areas of new or potential risk, and delivers operations tracking and forest damage management services. The company plans to add satellite-driven analytics, inventory data and forest productivity services to the platform. before the end of the year.

The Foresights platform covers larger geographic areas and delivers results faster and more accurately than traditional project-based companies, traditional inventory methods and off-the-shelf processing tools, the company said.

PlanetWatchers combines multi-source satellite imagery data, topography maps, soil maps, meteorological data and near real-time ground input from operational teams to deliver optimized insights. The tool is capable of detecting disturbances as small as 0.1 ha (0.25 ac) related to pest, disease and drought damage.

Foresights will help forest managers “easily access crucial business intelligence and detailed insights and analytics on a regular basis so they can make proactive and informed decisions and take immediate remedial action,” said Ariel Smoliar, PlanetWatchers’ CEO and co-founder. “Without these higher levels of data and improved frequency of information, they could see negative impacts on their forestry management decisions, their supply chains and, ultimately, their profits.”

Reports identifying locations that require immediate mitigation can be viewed in existing GIS systems and are geolocated for forestry field teams, including offline capabilities for teams operating in remote areas without cellular reception.

“Foresights also fills a data gap known as the ‘Last Mile of Analytics’,” Smoliar said. “When we deliver satellite images to our clients, they shouldn’t have to then analyze and extract information. We remove this pain point for them by providing deep analysis of optical and radar satellite images, and compiling actionable insights and reports, including detailed maps of locations of interest. Our clients are shown not only the location of the disturbance, but also the issue and its cause, granting them vital intelligence they can act on with very little lag time. Foresters will no longer need to process or analyze imagery: this is the game-changing value of the Last Mile of Analytics.”

The Forest Operations service provides foresters with insights to track progress of various forest harvest operations such as thinning and clearcutting. This information assists operations managers in optimizing their wood supply chain and efficiently and effectively managing resources.

The Forest Disturbance service delivers location-specific reports to forest owners and managers detailing areas with identifiable disturbances that could degrade the quality, yield, and profitability of forests. Some disturbances that Foresights can identify to help commercial foresters respond proactively include growth and uniformity issues over time, illegal logging, insect infestations and disease, competitive vegetation, storm damage, drought, wildfires and more.

Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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