FIA Quality Assurance Program: Evaluation of a Tree Matching Algorithm for Paired Forest Inventory DataThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The quality of Forest Inventory and Analysis inventory data can be documented by having quality assurance crews remeasure plots originally measured by field crews within 2 to 3 weeks of the initial measurement, and assessing the difference between the original and remeasured data. Estimates of measurement uncertainty for the data are generated using paired data statistical analyses. Because plot remeasurements are taken at different, but similar, times by different crews, it can be difficult to match the remeasured trees with the original tree measurements. In the past, this process required a laborious exercise of manual review and assignment of matching codes for the paired tree measurements. An automated process for matching tree data was developed and tested using a previously hand-matched data set. Results of the two matching processes were compared. More than 95 percent of the individual trees could be reliably matched using the automated matching program. The effects of unmatched data being excluded from the uncertainty analysis was minimal.