GIS Services

GIS is an integral and powerful tool for collecting, analysing, interpreting and sharing geographic information for ecologists. The GIS database’s ability to organise georeferenced spatial data is invaluable in modern ecological assessment. GIS facilitate wide ranging data sources, providing a platform for the integration and analysis of multi-source spatial data.

FERS expertise in ecology is matched by our expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). While all members of the FERS core team have extensive knowledge of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and habitat mapping, two members of the team, Dr Kevin Black and Dr Patrick Moran are qualified to M.Sc. level in GIS.

Dr Moran, Principal Ecologist and Senior GIS Analyst with FERS, has in excess of 15 years of experience in carrying out ecological surveys and mapping on both an academic and a professional basis. Dr Kevin Black, Forest Ecologist and a Senior GIS analyst with FERS has in excess of 15 years of experience in designing and maintaining databases, modelling and mapping.

FERS proven ecological experience in combination with high proficiency in GIS mapping software enable us to deliver accurate and interactive mapping and analysis of survey data.

Available surveys:

  • Land cover and land use change mapping
  • UAV surveys
  • GIS based decision support systems
  • Habitat mapping
  • Remote sensing applications for forestry
  • Hedgerow mapping and assessments
  • Survey/Inventory design and database management

UAV Surveys

Available surveys:

  • Compartment segmentation to aid in stratification and mapping forest management units based on canopy height using UAV
  • Pre-thinning forest inventory at a low cost (provides top height, productive area and stocking per Ha)
  • 3 dimensional point arrays for 3-D mapping and estimation of tree height (see animation below)
  • UAV used to create high resolution vegetation and habitat maps (see below)
  • Nesting and macro fauna surveys using thermal imagery
  • Monitoring diseases, crop nutrition, recovery from fire, windthrow damage and establishment problems using drone image analysis
  • Hydrology and topography analysis for drainage and road construction
  • Surveys over inaccessible areas


Example Application – GIS/UAV

A GEO-processed Drone image showing individual tree crowns in red.

UAV inventory service for Northern Ireland Forest Service

Description: FERS provides a UAV survey service to the Northern Ireland Forestry Service to aid in management of the estate. FERS deliver imagery and GIS analysis on:

  • Establishment and regeneration monitoring, particularly in inaccessible areas
  • Vegetation encroachment using drone image classification for identification of tree crowns and estimation of tree stocking, tree heights and productive area
  • Assessment of recovery and damage to fires

Animated Video of Drone Flight Over Woodland

Animated Video of Drone Flight Over Conifer Forest