Sylvan Stand Structure Models
Overview - Equipment - Getting Started - Mapping - Crown - Heights - Other Data - Data Review

Sylvan Datalogger


The Sylvan Stand Structure Model uses complex spatial data from stands to predict the growth of trees. To make it easier to collect this type of data, we have developed a data entry program called Datalogger. The purpose of the program is to directly collect from electronic measurement instruments the necessary information and store that data in a SQL database real-time. This allow the field crews to see a map of the plot and editing tools to assure data quality. The SQL database can be used in the Sylvan Stand Structure Model or the data can be export to a comma delimited file format, R statistics package format, or ESRI ShapeFile format.

Datalogger Block Diagram

Figure 1. Datalogger software configuration for single user arrangement.

After using the initial versions of Datalogger, we have employed method to increase the efficiency of the work flow. In the initial version steps proceed in a linear fashion, mapping had to conducted first, then crown measurements, then tree heights. We realized that if the software allowed it, many of these tasks could be accomplished concurrently. Based on this we redesigned the software to function the a multitasking configuration as well as the original single task configuration. In the testing process we learned several things:

  1. Bluetooth devices reliably stay connected when the distance is less that 25 feet.
  2. WiFi devices can stay connected reliability over most plot sizes up to an acre.
  3. Manufacturers only provide serial wires or bluetooth connections to their devices. We expect that WiFi connections will be available in the future.
To avoid running around the plot with the Datalogger computer we introduced a small Datalogger-lite program which is the tree editor from with the Sylvan datalogger program. Datalogger-lite can connect to Datalogger server program using a ad hoc network connection with minimal user input. This allows the user to checkout a tree for measurement and when the measurements are completed submit them back to the datalogger server. In this configuration sever people can be collecting data using a datalogger-lite and a ranging laser at the same time, effectively increasing the efficiency of plot measurement.

Datalogger Block Diagram

Figure 2. Datalogger software configuration for multitask arrangement.

As with all Sylvan software, it will run on Windows (XP, Windows 7), Linux (Ubuntu), and MacOS (Snow Lepoard). We have the serial port communication working on Windows, MacOS, and Linux through both wired and bluetooth.

If you have a ranging/compass device that emits a standard NEMA packet in the following format.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Author: Dr. David R. Larsen
Created: March 21, 2007
Last Updated: February 19, 2013