High-Resolution Imaging and Browser Based Measurement in Dendrochronology

Authors: Kate Carlson*, University of Minnesota - Department of Geography & Center for Dendrochronology, Malik Nusseibeh, University of Minnesota- Department of Computer Science, Colin McFadden, University of Minnesota- LATIS, Samantha Porter, University of Minnesota-LATIS, Matthew Trumper, University of Minnesota- Department of Geography & Center for Dendrochronology, Daniel Griffin, University of Minnesota- Department of Geography & Center for Dendrochronology
Topics: Quantitative Methods, Physical Geography
Keywords: Dendrochronology, imaging, technology
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Dendrochronology uses tree samples to create a long-term record of environmental change. Historically, dendrochronologists have measured tree-ring parameters by manually advancing a specimen on a measurement stage and transmitting the increment at the yearly growth boundaries. Not only is this method time intensive, but it also makes it difficult to detect mistakes made by operators. Image-based measurement systems using low-resolution flatbed scanners are becoming more common. However, these systems may be expensive, unintuitive, and lack high enough resolution to properly analyze trees with slow growth rates or complex ring morphology. Here, we present an alternative process using high-resolution images of samples and an online, open-source measurement tool. We accomplished this by first photographing the cores using a GIGAmacro imaging system which takes thousands of pictures on the x-y plane. We then focus stack them and stitch the images into a flat field mosaic. Collections of composite images are then stored on a cloud-based content management system and measurements can be made with a plugin built with the open-source Leaflet project. Measurement metadata is written in .json format and can be exported in the standard “Tucson” decadal ring width format for processing. This system has many advantages because it creates an online digital store of easily accessible data that also provides for more collaborative opportunities as well as greater ease of quality control.

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