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Geospatial Analysis Center

Digitizing Logging Clear Cuts for Moose Habitat Study




The purpose of this project was to create a data layer showing clear cut logging in NE Minnesota. Data created by this project is currently being used by researchers at NRRI in their analysis of moose habitat. In order to create the data layer, student workers visually analyzed aerial photographs dating back to 2000.




Identifying clear cuts required that the user be able to distinguish between naturally occurring clearings and those that are man-made. To do this successfully, several signs were examined. Square corners, logging roads, and forest striations were the major signs used to differentiate logging cuts from swamps.




The project took several student workers nearly a year to complete. More than 2,000 clear cuts were digitized while analyzing more than 2.8 million square acres.



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