Drone-based 3D Tree Measurement – GIZ, El Salvador


El Salvador




Consultancy, Drone Mapper


Carbon forestry, Research



In collaboration with:



In this consultancy we tested the possibility to create 3D-models of single trees using drone based photogrammetry. The 3D-models can used to measure the geometry of trees with high accuracy. The goal of the measurements is to determine allometric formulas for non commercial trees, ultimately to quantify the carbon sequestration of trees and hence to enable a more precise carbon monitoring for REDD projects in Central America and potentially around the world. In comparison to manual biomass measurements, were trees have to be felled, this method is non-destructive and fare more time-efficient.

The process

The following video shows the process of image acquisition and posterior point cloud and 3D model generation.

3D models

The 3D trees are composed by point clouds or interpolated meshes. These models are available in a variety of 3D file formats and can be imported in 3D software for analysis and further manipulation.

In our 3D gallery you’ll find some examples of 3D trees.

(Please take into account that some models might need broadband internet connection and higher 3D computational power to be viewed.)

Tree maps

Tree maps are ortho projections of the 3D model along different axes. They allow the measurement of the tree dimensions along specific sections.