Sumac’s 2020 Highlights
In our last post, we discussed the recent changes at Sumac that saw the addition of a sales and support channel for 3 products: Cavity Monitoring System (CMS) V500, the True View Family of UAV lidar sensors and lastly, Photodocufy. While this has been very exciting, Sumac’s existing services division has continued to succeed in 2020, delivering for new clients and further leveraging our capabilities.
Over the course of the year we were fortunate to continue growing our client base for mapping and surveys services, completing several challenging projects. Thank you to our new and all existing clients for trusting in Sumac to deliver mission critical data and information. New clients that we had the pleasure of working with this year included:
National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI, https://www.ncasi.org) – Sumac began 2020 completing an incredibly worthwhile project mapping ecosites and estimating lichen abundance on a series of plots across Northeastern and Northwestern Ontario. The project, supporting a major 12-year woodland caribou research effort to better understand how nutrition and bioenergetics of caribou are affected by forest management practices in Canada, tested the use of photo interpretation and high resolution imagery to map potential areas of high lichen abundance.
The Ontario Aggregate Resource Corporation (TORAC, https://toarc.com) – Among its many responsibilities as Trustee of the Aggregate Resources Trust, TORAC is responsible for the rehabilitation of abandoned pits and quarries. Using a combination of ground and drone surveys, Sumac provided TORAC with information and data about the current conditions of sites in Northern Ontario.
Zoetica Environmental Consulting (http://www.zoeticaenvironmental.com) – This project continued Sumac’s involvement with the Nuclear Waste Management Organisation’s (NWMO) assessment of the proposed deep geological repository near Ignace Ontario. Sumac was tasked with providing fine scale ecosite mapping and updating forest resource inventory data to support the environmental assessment process.
Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA, https://www.qia.ca) – In what is likely the most exciting project of the year, Sumac’s Adam Boczek (pictured) spent two weeks working in the stunning natural environment of Baffin Island. The project, to provide topographic data of proposed aggregate pits and quarries, utilized drone mapping along a 120km route from the Mary River Iron Mine to the Milne port facility.
Leveraging Imagery Investment
Between 2007 and 2011 the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources commissioned the collecting high resolution stereo (3D) imagery across 550,000 km² of the province. Nearly a decade after the last round of acquisition flights, Sumac’s team of highly skilled air photo interpreters continue to derive value from Ontario’s investment in this dataset, using it daily. Most of the work involves the operational analysis of planned forest harvesting, but the data has been successfully used for mineral exploration, habitat mapping and environmental assessment.
The operational analysis of planned forest harvesting is the largest use of the imagery data. Sumac has been assisting clients develop operational plans to extract timber sustainably and economically. Interpreters delineate and classify planned harvest areas using a range of criteria that consider terrain and site conditions, timber quality and volume, and product mix (such as comparing saw logs to pulpwood). Due to the age and currency of the imagery, the interpreter’s skill to assess site conditions, timber quality and, growth is even more pertinent to reliably develop these operational plans today.
As the Province of Ontario like many other jurisdictions moves toward implementing a lidar based forest inventory, the collection of new imagery will be limited. With exciting possibilities available, merging the lidar data and photo interpreted attributes, the existing imagery will continue be utilized for some time.
Sumac was one of the earliest adopters in North America of applying drone technology to commercial survey and mapping projects. After nearly a decade, we continue to evolve our methods and processes to utilize the latest technology for the benefit of our clients. For 2020, we added lidar to our fleet of sensors, with the deployment of the GeoCue Group True View 410 3D Imaging Sensor. With a season of successful projects complete, the 410 has proven itself delivering high quality data over a variety of project types, and is now replacing our long serving camera systems.
Thank You to Our Staff and Field Crews
I would like to extend a huge thank you to our skilled, dedicated, and hard-working staff and, the summer field crews. Without you, our success would not be possible.
Todd Domney (Managing Partner, Sumac Geomatics)