Using LiDAR to Measure the Urban Forest in DeKalb, Illinois
We present the results of an experimental comparison of existing and new methods to estimate tree height from LiDAR data and to subsequently estimate tree diameter allometrically from species and height. Ground truth of tree height was established using a LaserAce Rangefinder to directly measure the height and diameter of a sample of 952 parkway trees. Based on this sample, it was possible to directly calculate the accuracy and error budget for the LiDAR and allometry-derived metrics. The results can inform the optimal estimation techniques and expectations of accuracy for biogeographers studying urban forests.