Forestry Inventory Planning

Tim Clark, Esri, assumes the role of forester to demonstrate how ArcGIS can be used to layout a Forestry Inventory Plan. The resulting maps and templates can be taken into the field to collect data.

Jan 20th, 2011

Start From:
Player Color:

Right-click on these links to download and save this video.


00:01I want to take the next few minutes to play the role of a forester...

00:03...and show you how I can use ArcGIS to lay out a forest inventory plan.

00:08When I'm done, I'll be able to take my map and templates out into the woods to collect data.

00:14So in order to lay out a forest inventory, I need to select random locations on the ground where my field crews can go...

00:21...and actually measure trees following standard forestry practices.

00:26I'm going to start with one inventory point that exists from a previous inventory that happens to be in the same area.

00:33By reusing that point, my field crews can revisit that location and update the data that's already been collected there.

00:41So the first thing I need to do is run a custom forest inventory tool that was written to create either random or...

00:47...gridded plot locations inside of selected forest polygons.

00:52Now new to ArcGIS 10, I can add custom functionality to my desktop without administrator privileges using the Add-in Manager.

01:02I simply browse to the folder containing the add-in that I want to use...

01:07...and ArcGIS takes care of the registration process for me.

01:11So I can see from the Add-in Manager that this tool consists of a button on the crews point tool category.

01:18I can then access the customized dialog, locate my tool, and drag it to a toolbar.

01:26So now I can select the forest stands that I want to inventory and run my tool.

01:35So I want to create random locations.

01:38I want to create five plots per polygon, and I want to separate them by at least 20 chains.

01:46So there are my random inventory locations.

01:48So the next thing I need to do is to run an ArcPython script that will process my point locations...

01:56...and create a standard forest inventory plot layout, and it will process my existing data.

02:03So now as I zoom in on a plot, you'll see the inventory layout that got created...

02:09...and a new feature class containing individual tree locations from my existing data.

02:15So now the last thing I need to do is to create an edit template for my Tree feature class.

02:21So I simply access the organized features template dialog and select the Tree feature class to create the template.

02:29So now I can use this map and the license to ArcGIS Mobile that comes with every desktop... run a geoprocessing tool to create a mobile project package.

02:40This mobile project package will deliver my map, my data, and my templates to my mobile device.

02:47So now as I switch over to my mobile device, the first thing you should notice is that again...

02:53...I have the same map and templates that I used on the desktop and the web.

02:58In the field, I would navigate to a plot center and start collecting data.

03:04As I select the Collect Features task, my Edit template is now available, so I can select the feature I want to add...

03:14...and then collect its geometry, either using the map or the GPS.

03:22And then now I can collect the remaining attributes.

03:27So I won't go into a lot of detail on the kind of data we collect in a forest inventory, but hopefully you get the idea.

03:35So what I've been able to show is how we can use one map...

03:38...and one set of templates to deliver editing capability across the desktop, web, and mobile devices. Thank you.

Copyright 2016 Esri
Auto Scroll (on)Enable or disable the automatic scrolling of the transcript text when the video is playing. You can save this option if you login


Unfortunately the tool that I demonstrated in the video does not accept a starting point for the cruise. It is intended to create random plot locations inside the selected stands.


Jan 14th, 2014. 2:30:13 PM

I have created a set starting point for which I want to have my cruise grid based off of. My question is: Is it possible for me to build an inventory cruise grid based off of the already created starting point?


Jan 13th, 2014. 3:34:45 PM

I am in the process of updating the tool with some additional functionality. I plan on having this update available by the Esri Forestry Conference in May. In the mean time, the current tool works in ArcGIS 10.1 without any modifications. If you would like to get a copy, send me an e-mail at


Apr 1st, 2013. 12:16:50 PM

Does an updated Cruise Point Tool Add-in for ArcGIS 10.1 exist?


Mar 22nd, 2013. 1:56:00 PM

You can send me an e-mail at and I can get you the Cruise Point Tool Add0In for ArcGIS 10.


Jun 13th, 2012. 12:31:57 PM

I am having trouble finding the cruise point tool as well - any luck with that?


Jun 13th, 2012. 8:48:17 AM

Can you please contact me directly at so I can get more information on exactly what you are looking for?



Mar 19th, 2012. 9:12:59 AM

Your question has been forwarded to the presenter. Please look for his reply soon.


Mar 16th, 2012. 3:41:35 PM

How I should to do for acquiring the forestry inventory design?


Mar 14th, 2012. 7:47:42 PM

Ciaran, currently there is not an option for batch processing. The tool requires a set of selected stands in ArcMap to process the cruise points. The tool does process very quickly so you could create points for many selected stand polygons in one process.


Nov 14th, 2011. 2:21:07 PM

The Cruise Point Tool is an excellent add-in for ArcGIS 10. Is there a 'batch' option?
Ciaran Doyle


Nov 1st, 2011. 7:45:18 PM

Tim Clark, the presenter, has already contacted the customer and delivered the tool to him.


Sep 15th, 2011. 3:57:04 PM

This is helpful, however I am trying to find the Cruisepointtool that he has added in, can anyone help with that?


Sep 15th, 2011. 7:37:12 AM

Comment on this Video