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Harvard Forest Data Archive


INTERPNT Software for Mapping Trees Using Distance Measurements

Related Publications


  • HF023-01: zip file contains Interpnt program (Windows executable file and related files)


  • Lead: Emery Boose, Emery F. Boose, Ann Lezberg
  • Investigators:
  • Contact: Information Manager
  • Start date:
  • End date:
  • Status: complete
  • Location: Global
  • Latitude: -90 to +90 degrees
  • Longitude: -180 to +180 degrees
  • Elevation:
  • Datum: WGS84
  • Taxa:
  • Release date: 2023
  • Language: English
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.23.17
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • EDI: data package
  • DataONE: data package
  • Related links:
  • Study type: modeling
  • Research topic: ecological informatics and modelling
  • LTER core area: population studies
  • Keywords: geographic information systems, mapping, surveys, tree maps
  • Abstract:

    The INTERPNT method can be used to produce accurate maps of trees based solely on tree diameter and tree-to-tree distance measurements. For additional details on the technique please see the published paper (Boose, E. R., E. F. Boose and A. L. Lezberg. 1998. A practical method for mapping trees using distance measurements. Ecology 79: 819-827). Additional information is contained in the documentation that accompanies the program. The Abstract from the paper is reproduced below.

    "Accurate maps of the locations of trees are useful for many ecological studies but are often difficult to obtain with traditional surveying methods because the trees hinder line of sight measurements. An alternative method, inspired by earlier work of F. Rohlf and J. Archie, is presented. This "Interpoint method" is based solely on tree diameter and tree-to-tree distance measurements. A computer performs the necessary triangulation and detects gross errors. The Interpoint method was used to map trees in seven long-term study plots at the Harvard Forest, ranging from 0.25 ha (200 trees) to 0.80 ha (889 trees). The question of accumulation of error was addressed though a computer simulation designed to model field conditions as closely as possible. The simulation showed that the technique is highly accurate and that errors accumulate quite slowly if measurements are made with reasonable care (e.g., average predicted location errors after 1,000 trees and after 10,000 trees were 9 cm and 15 cm, respectively, for measurement errors comparable to field conditions; similar values were obtained in an independent survey of one of the field plots). The technique requires only measuring tapes, a computer, and two or three field personnel. Previous field experience is not required. The Interpoint method is a good choice for mapping trees where a high level of accuracy is desired, especially where expensive surveying equipment and trained personnel are not available."

  • Methods:

    Instructions for installing and using the INTERPNT program are contained in the accompanying Readme file.

  • Organization: Harvard Forest. 324 North Main Street, Petersham, MA 01366, USA. Phone (978) 724-3302. Fax (978) 724-3595.

  • Project: The Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program examines ecological dynamics in the New England region resulting from natural disturbances, environmental change, and human impacts. (ROR).

  • Funding: National Science Foundation LTER grants: DEB-8811764, DEB-9411975, DEB-0080592, DEB-0620443, DEB-1237491, DEB-1832210.

  • Use: This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (No Rights Reserved). Please keep the dataset creators informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset should include proper acknowledgement.

  • License: Creative Commons Zero v1.0 Universal (CC0-1.0)

  • Citation: Boose E, Boose E, Lezberg A. 2023. INTERPNT Software for Mapping Trees Using Distance Measurements. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF023 (v.17). Environmental Data Initiative:

Detailed Metadata

HF023-01: zip file contains Interpnt program (Windows executable file and related files)

  • Compression: zip
  • Format: Windows executable
  • Type: model