Ecosynth recently had the chance to get a fly over of a small part of the famous Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA.  

For over 100 years, the forest here has been the site of countless research projects and on Wednesday of this week, and today, I flew our v5.0 Hexacopter over a few small patches of forest, pasture and work buildings to generate 3D models.

The purpose of the flights was to demonstrate our techniques to a group of Landscape Architects from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.  Ecosynth techniques can provide the perfect perspective on sites that might be difficult or impossible to achieve otherwise.

The trip also gave us the opportunity to advance our research relationship with Steve Klosterman (a fellow Ecosynth-head) and the lab group of Dr. Andrew Richardson at the Harvard Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology,  where Steve is working on his Ph.D.

The 3D point cloud model provides a view of the site and surrounding forest that can be useful to Ecologists and Landscape Architects alike: highlighting the relationship of the managed pastures and built environment adjacent to the research forest along with the complexity of seasonal change within the forest.

I have attached download links for the 3D point cloud model of our flight below.  The point clouds are currently not georeferenced to a real world coordinate system, but that will be updated soon, georeferenced to the WGS84 UTM 18N projection.

The point clouds are in the standard PLY format and also in a Rhino 3D model format.  I used the Python script posted on this forum to convert the point cloud from an XYZRGB text file into a Rhino 3D point cloud model.  The PLY file can be viewed in Meshlab.

UPDATE: Georeferenced models now available along with ASCII raster digital elevation model (DEM) and canopy height model (CHM)!

Harvard Forest 2013-10-02 3D point cloud (projected to WGS84 UTM Zone 18N):

Rhino 3D Model Format (54MB)

Stanford PLY Format (75 MB)

HF_2013_10_02_Ecosynth_DEM.asc (Digital Elevation Model raster)

HF_2013_10_02_Ecosynth_CHM.asc (Canopy Height Model raster)

Thanks GSD class.  I had a great time!  ~ Jonathan

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