GIS and Inventory Systems

Jzack605

Active Member
Location
Long island
I made a post awhile back about inventory positions without much feedback. I was supposed to take a position which that would have been a large part GIS to inventory as well as creating management plants. But through a series of frustrating events the company I work for seems to have potentially killed that position due to a recent restructuring. So as usual I will go at it alone to learn and eventually use that tool to my benefit.

is anyone here using GIS to inventory trees and create management plans? Is this mostly in a forestry setting or do you find it valuable in an urban setting as well? Particularly public spaces and large commercial clientele.

what programs? I know Arc is $$$$ and was turned on to an open source one called Qgis. So I’ll start playing around with the free one.

also may take some courses at my local college but if anyone has some online sources I’d love to hear about that. I’m not opposed at all to paying for tuition for a few classes.

finally, those who use it. Are you able to sub contract out this service or is it mostly under an employer? Municipal or private?

my ultimate goal is to start my own business utilizing some more niche aspects of this industry, as well as some of the more traditional work like climbing and PHC.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
I know knowlesforestry.com/ does quite a bit of contract inventory, management plans, consulting, and associated work...so there is a market out there.

As far as GIS, I've played a little with Q-GIS and did a full day training to learn it. That trainer said it is a like ArcGIS, but a couple of versions ago. The impression I got from her is that it is more than adequate for natural resource planning. If you are going to work with cities or bigger contractors, I think the reality is that you need to be able to integrate with ArcGIS.

I've used that a bit in the past too, but not nearly to its full extent. If I wanted to sit in front of a computer screen day in and day out, I thought it would have been worth using some more time at my previous employer to learn that better when I had the opportunity to do so for free (well, on their time...), but I don't see myself doing that for a career, so I never invested that time.

I'm pretty sure Q-GIS layers can be set up to import into ArcMap, so if you probably can do design work in there and send it to your client. May be worth paying ERSI for a year to make sure you know how to make the 2 work together so you can fully serve the client.
 

Jzack605

Active Member
Location
Long island
Yeah I have heard the same about Arc being the status quo for what’s used.

I’m definitely trying to avoid sitting behind a computer day in and day out and I have a hard time seeing it being the bread and butter service around here but potentially something that could be of value and less wear on the body.

is this something you’ll still offer or was it with a previous employer? One thing that could be challenging is competing with the bigger firms that offer this type of stuff
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
I think you could probably compete if they can find you... probably less overhead so you can lower the price - just gotta maintain a quality product or the calls will dry up real quick.

I've done a few small projects for private neighborhoods. I just used Google Earth Pro. Not nearly as powerful as the other 2, but simple and enough for those limited scope projects. Just hired a full time helper who wants to trend more towards urban forestry. I think we could serve a lot of smaller communities and make a fill time job without a lot of travel. Some of the bigger companies have people on the road constantly - that costs a lot, so that would be one way to save expenses if you can keeping local.
 

Jzack605

Active Member
Location
Long island
Google earth and just placing pin points? Seems like a simple and effective system.

you definitely got me thinking on the scope of where to offer this. I think it’s pretty appealing because it’s so hard to find someone to go into business with so this could be done solo.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
Earth Pro. It is a different program, but also free. I use it to make Points and polygons (and rarely a path).

OpenStreeyMaps is another free GIS program I had forgotten about...more powerful than the Google programs, but apparently simpler than Q-GIS. I haven't used it, but my helper used it in school and seems to like it...but I don't think he has ever used ESRI products.
 

Jzack605

Active Member
Location
Long island
Yeah I used to use earth pro a lot to pin point, and inventory of sorts, surf spots and potential surf spots when I was in high school-college.

openstreetmap is interesting, and pretty simple to play with so far.
 
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ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
I've been looking into business management software more. Treezi seems to have a better inventory system than others.

I know I keep coming back with new info... I'm not holding out on you, just remembering something else every time I visit.
 

Jzack605

Active Member
Location
Long island
No worries man I really appreciate you returning with more info. It’s hard to find people who do this to pick their brains. I’m sure I’ll have some more specific questions as I explore it more. I actually just emailed a few GIS professors at the state college I’ve been taking courses to add on a class outside my Hort degree this fall
 
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