Angkor aerial survey also has serious nature conservation potential

Archaeologist Damian Evans at Beng Melea. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150428

Along with second Lidar survey of Angkor, the data obtained from aerial mapping of the areas promises to be a boon for future nature conservation works, particularly with forest cover and endangered tree species tracking.

Archaeologist Damian Evans at Beng Melea. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150428
Archaeologist Damian Evans at Beng Melea. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150428

Mapping tech holds promise
Phnom Penh Post, 28 April 2015

Aerial mapping techniques used to produce two new studies into forest canopies around the Angkor temple complex could provide a major boost to future conservation efforts in Cambodia and other tropical countries.

The first of the studies combined very high resolution (VHR) imagery with plant field data, while the second combined VHR imagery with images taken from Google Earth to produce detailed maps of the tree species in the Angkor Thom complex.

According to the studies’ authors, the methods could be used to monitor the presence of endangered or protected tree species, as well as to produce accurate estimations of the quantity of timber present in forests – data essential to implementing incentive-based conservation schemes such as the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program.

“In a few hours of flying, we can collect data over hundreds of square kilometres that would take decades to acquire on the ground,” said Dr Damian Evans, one of the reports’ authors.”>

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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