Tree measurement is a critical aspect of vegetation management and utility infrastructure services across the globe, yet it is fraught with manual processes, complexities and variations that can lead to errors and inaccuracies. Cloneable sought to address these challenges and provide foresters with a reliable, consistent, and auditable solution for measuring trees and ensuring the success of new foresters. This case study outlines the value of using the Cloneable app based on a proof-of-concept with a leading enterprise servicing electric utility companies, municipalities, pipelines, and railroads through tree pruning and removals, right-of-way clearing and maintenance, vegetation management with herbicides, emergency storm work and logistical support.
Challenges in Line Clearance
Current tree measurement methods, such as diameter tape and laser rangefinders, often lack the capacity to capture imagery and provide auditable data. The subjective elements in diameter measurements can introduce discrepancies from forester to forester and many foresters remain reliant on paper maps to track GPS. The goal of the Cloneable app was to leverage advanced mobile sensor technologies to create an easy-to-use tool that combines accurate measurements using the mobile LiDAR and GPS with a platform that can enable post data collection auditability.
Tree measurements & classification using mobile sensor technologies
The primary objective of the Cloneable app was to enable foresters, regardless of their level of expertise, to measure trees accurately and consistently. The app aimed to establish a foundation of standardized measurement practices across the enterprise, improve data transparency, and enhance auditability for regulatory compliance, customer transparency and data analytics.
In collaboration with a leading provider of tree pruning and removals and right-of-way clearing and maintenance, Cloneable conducted a proof-of-concept to validate the app's ability to collect measurements and perform post collection audits. The app was designed to collect various data points, including images, tree diameter, tree ID, tree classification, GPS coordinates, and subjective information like field notes.
Key Outcomes of Field Tests
- Speed and Efficiency: The app's development and refinement took only two weeks, highlighting its rapid deployment potential.
- Accuracy and Consistency: The app achieved measurement accuracy of less than 1 inch compared to manual diameter measurements using a diameter tape.
- Auditability: The app generated immediate PDF reports for each tree, containing location and associated information, ensuring data traceability and transparency.
- Customization and Integration: The app integrated the company’s business rules for each geography, such as tree classification and type, enhancing its adaptability for different contexts.
- Scalability: By identifying mobile as the first device for data collection, barrier to entry is low for any forester or geography.
- Transparency Across the Business: The app's GIS visualization provided real-time updates for each captured tree.
Enabling Technologies for Further Gains
The success of the Cloneable app demonstrates its potential for driving significant efficiency gains through the utilization of enabling technology.
By streamlining tree measurement processes, this enterprise could increase their forester’s efficiency by up to 70% annually, translating into reduced operational costs and improved customer experience.
Over the last ten years, the Cloneable team has been dedicated to assisting intricate and cumbersome data collection procedures in enterprise field operations. This commitment inspired the inception of Cloneable. Our mission is to streamline and expedite the integration of deep technology into any field device for tailored and context-aware data collection. This endeavor aims to democratize the utilization of cutting-edge technology across enterprises, revolutionizing their operational potential.