Birdwood Downs Station has always been a demonstration site for sustainable pasture management in the Kimberley, Western Australia. It has its links with the Institute of EcoTechnics promoting the ecology of technique and the technique of ecology. The project to use advanced modern technology for species recognition and pasture management is one of the examples where technology support the ecology.
For the making of the photos and maps on this website the following software and hardware was used:
A DJI Phantom 4 drone, kindly donated by Mars Nelson Tredwell who grew up on Birdwood Downs and still has his ties here. He pointed me in the right direction how to use the drone, and what software to use for the processing of the vast amounts of data.
The DJI Phantom 4 drone is the flying photography platform with which all aerial photos and most aerial videos were made.
To automate the navigation of the drone and the taking of the pictures the app Pix4Dcapture is used on a Samsung tablet.
Agisoft Photoscan Professional is used to process the aerial photos. Agisoft kindly made this software available for free for the duration of 1 year so that we could evaluate both the software and the usefulness of the process as a whole at low cost.
Mapping of the property is done with the QGIS Desktop geographic information system. It is free,open source software, developed by GIS professionals from all over the world.
The last challenge is to automatically identify species from the aerial photos. For the trials we use Terrset Geospatial Monitoring and Modelling system from Clark Labs/Clark University who also made available a 1 year license for free.
Hans Leenaarts, Birdwood Downs Company