Government agencies, nonprofits, and other non-commercial enterprises face a number of challenges when deploying specialized forestry software. For one thing, there are often a diverse suite of tasks that are performed within your typical Department of Natural Resources. State land management, timber sale administration, regeneration surveys, forest health data collection, consulting for private landowners and performing continuous forest inventory monitoring – some agencies need to do it all. Thankfully, Forest Metrix allows for so much customization and flexibility that an agency can satisfy all of these needs in a single program.
Forest Metrix can be used for something as simple as a basal area forest cruise for timber stocking levels and species composition, or a complete evaluation of volumes by multiple products, sorting by status levels or any other user-defined variable, and detailed log-sort reports. You can quantitatively or qualitatively record other ecological features or inventory, such as pathogens and invasive pants species. All records can be exported in tabular form or .kml (GIS) files, making the program extremely easy to use in conjunction with other programs. There is no black box.
Forest Metrix operates on inexpensive hardware
In this age, spending $3,000 on a dedicated forest inventory tablet is generally wasteful and unnecessary. Technicians have been carrying smart phones and tablets with them for years. When equipped with a proper waterproof case for field use, an iPad is a far more versatile and powerful business tool. Especially when considering deploying dozens – or hundreds – of units, there are no data loggers that can be had for less than twice the cost of an iPad, and the most common data logging hardware costs five times that of a ruggedized waterproof iPad.
In our experience, dedicated forest inventory hardware becomes is a significant barrier to successful deployment of software. 1) its just too expensive to buy a data logger for everyone, and 2) the hardware platform and Windows Mobile operating system is so inaccessible to most foresters that the device usually sits in a drawer.
Short learning curve
Supervisors worry about foisting another “solution” on their staff, as in the past they became the resident expert charged with teaching the troops and dealing with issues. Forest Metrix is very intuitive and easy to learn. It offers easy touch screen data entry and simple language. There are no hidden menus or complex functions, and no need to be a technology expert. Help buttons are everywhere.
Most users become comfortable with the program in about an hour, and one or two timber cruises is all it takes to become fluent. Maybe another hour of training on the reporting side, and that’s it. But what if you have some reluctant learners? Our personalized training means that we take care of getting your employees up to speed, and we handle questions and troubleshooting, leaving you to focus on your job- not ours.
Easy cruise administration
Forest Metrix is, at the end of the day, a FileMaker database file. FileMaker software is available for Windows, Mac and Apple iOS. This means that administrators can set up cruise files and templates in their office, and email these timber cruises directly to the field users’ iPads or iPhones. No need for docking stations with serial ports, mailing thumb drives, or dealing with complex file server configurations. Cruise files can be backed up to the cloud whenever the devices have internet access (using Dropbox, for instance), and users can still use wired connections to move files from their device to the desktop, if wifi access is limited.
At present, the states of Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Washington have deployed Forest Metrix, while Wisconsin is aiming for field deployment in summer 2016. Minnesota, Pennsylvania and other states are currently evaluating the program. The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife have also implemented Forest Metrix. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a brief live demo over the web to see if Forest Metrix can provide efficiencies for you.
What makes Forest Metrix unique?
Forest Metrix runs on iPhones and iPads- not dedicated data loggers. Bright high resolution screens, super fast processors, GPS-enabled, and fully ruggedized for less than $500. Also available for Windows 8 tablets.
EASY TOUCH SCREENS
A tally sheet that is easy on the eyes. Large buttons, and dynamic interfaces that change based on your cruise methods. Use a finger or a stylus.
BETTER FIELD INFO
See the results while you are still out there. Know your sampling error, species composition, volumes, and more.
We use Microsoft Excel (Windows) for professional customizable reports, allowing full access to computer users of all skill levels.
You decide how you want things set up. There is no need to change your species codes, product calls, length increments, optional tree and plot data; Forest Metrix will not constrain you.
We build data collection and analysis interfaces for research projects, custom inventory, stand exam and best management practice audits, cultural feature inventory, continuous forest inventory exams, baseline monitoring, etc, for surprisingly reasonable cost. Contact us to discuss your needs.
EVERY POSSIBLE METHOD
Forest Metrix is deployed in every region of the country and four continents. Do you think you are different? Well, you certainly may be, but we haven’t found a method that we couldn’t accommodate.