FIA Estimation in the New Millennium
In the new millennium, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) will deliver most of its database information directly to the users over the Internet. This assumption indicates the need for a GIS-based estimation system to support the information delivery system. Presumably, as the data set evolves, it will free FIA and the users from exclusive estimation within political boundaries.
A data set of basal area measurements from a survey unit in Georgia is used to simulate one that might have been obtained had an annual inventory been conducted over a 5-year time interval. The simulated data set was used to investigate various estimators and any potential spatial correlation of basal area. The presence of spatial correlation, coupled with a desire to fulfill user needs to obtain estimates over individually defined elements of the spatial-temporal cube, forms the basis for an argument that a real-time GIS-based estimation system should be developed as the main information delivery vehicle for FIA.