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Tree Recognition

individual tree recognition as opposed to tree type recognition
  [vote for,

The linked image is (not i now realize) of the Nigerian girls being held hostage (but) there is (still) a tree in the background.

It was making me think that there should be tree recognition systems, the way there is face recognition.

So this could be a job for all of those Amazon drones, as they are delivering your groceries they could also be getting data about the trees they pass and loading it into a tree recognition database so that among other things, photos like this one could be identified by location.

It would also be an interesting problem, recognizing a tree from multiple angles.

JesusHChrist, May 13 2014

Treezilla http://www.treezilla.org/
[JesusHChrist, May 13 2014]

image with tree http://www.bbc.com/...rld-africa-27383865
oops, it turned out not to be an image of the bad guys but an image of the good guys [JesusHChrist, May 13 2014]

How to Recognise Different Types of Trees From Quite a Long Way Away http://en.wikipedia...ite_a_Long_Way_Away
Prior Art [8th of 7, May 14 2014]

The video therof http://www.youtube....watch?v=ug8nHaelWtc
[not_morrison_rm, May 14 2014]

Tree Data Structure http://en.wikipedia...28data_structure%29
This could be used for the AI [the porpoise, May 14 2014]


       Pre-link, please don't tell me we have AI that can do this. I'm all for hunting down those bastards, but can we leave AI out of it?
normzone, May 13 2014

       The image turned out to be an image of the good guys. I'm still for tree recognition though.
JesusHChrist, May 13 2014

       Tree recognition: it's byte is worse than its bark.   

       You could start a company that could do this, with branch offices.
normzone, May 14 2014

       + I like this. Once whilst boating in a Louisiana swamp / lake basin, we got a bit lost except for the *recognition* of certain swamp trees that led us back to our houseboat!
xandram, May 14 2014

       Very useful for recognising, for example, the giant redwood, the larch, the fir, the mighty scots pine ...   

8th of 7, May 14 2014

       Agreed, the larch. The larch. etc See link.
not_morrison_rm, May 14 2014

       If we're going to be able to recognize all trees, we might as well name them all.
the porpoise, May 14 2014

       They have names. For example: the larch.
bungston, May 14 2014

       //please don't tell me we have AI that can do this//   

       Not yet, perhaps, but we have the perfect tool to build such an AI [link].
the porpoise, May 14 2014

       That certainly gets to the root of the problem.
8th of 7, May 14 2014

       You keep branching off of the actual idea. These names would be like: the oak with the 2 low branches, the pine with the broken top, the birch full of worms, etc. (Something to identify the individual tree.)
xandram, May 14 2014

       My main question would be how specific is the form of an individual tree.   

       Annual growth, changes in leaf pattern, animal action, even shed bark (does a paper birch grow back the same pattern every time), etc. can all make some significant differences in the tree's appearance.   

       I''m not saying it's impossible, but I would question how up to date your database could actually be.
MechE, May 14 2014

       good for puns, but I don't think you can recognize a tree.   

       You can recognize it from it's GPS location, as trees don't move too fast.   

       But, trees change with seasons & years & pruning & storms, & other trees shading it, & animals of all types copulating among it's branches, & everything else.   

       Our faces can be recognized because the distance between our eyes & nose & mouth don't change when our eyebrows make odd shapes like they do when they read my anno out loud.   

sophocles, May 14 2014

       Actually, I don't think it would be that hard to do. If the tree is reasonably mature, the pattern of the major branches is unlikely to change drastically.   

       You could probably do this along similar lines to fingerprinting. Tree 151171773, for instance has its first major branch at 3m, a fork at 4.5m, then the next five branches are at heights P,Q,R,S and T with elevation angles U,V,W,X and Y and headings of A,B,C,D and E. That's 15 pieces of data from five branches. If each piece of data has 10 possible values (to be error-tolerant), you've got 10^15 distinguishable fingerprints.   

       Even if the tree loses one or two branches, the pattern should still be recognisable.   

       Eminently bakeable, I'd say. Needs a very fancy iPhone app to extract data from multiple photos of the same tree.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 14 2014

       This could be a GPS replacement, too, in reasonably wooded areas.
the porpoise, May 14 2014

       Trees get a brand new face each year or anytime they are pruned. And the Aspens change in the slightest breeze.
popbottle, May 14 2014

       This is a GREAT idea. Not only trees, but any background. You would need a massive database of images of everywhere -- like a google maps on steroids, but it could in fact be done with drones. In fact, in a case like the kidnapped girls you could go get those images after the fact; drone around the Nigerian forests looking for a similar tree pattern. Narrow the list to the most likely matches. Check them all out. This has to beat manual searching. Hmmm ... to my mind this is so close to something we could do today that I wonder if it isn't secretly being done already. This sounds like an NSA kind of capability to me. (P.S. I hate those <dirty word here> NSA snoopers, but I can see where that capability can be used for good as well as evil.)   

       Anyway, isn't there already pretty good face recognition software for human faces? How much different is tree recognition? (Probably a lot, I don't know; hence the half-bakededness.)
terryo, May 14 2014

       //Trees get a brand new face each year or anytime they are pruned. And the Aspens change in the slightest breeze.//   

       As [MaxwellBuchanan] pointed out in an earlier anno, that is simply not the case. The disposition of major limbs would be enough to identify a mature tree, and will not change over many years.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 14 2014

       If you can't identify it, it's a missed tree.   

       If find it where people enter the forest, it's an ent tree.   

       If you are looking for a 100 trees, & only find 3 left, that's a pal tree.   

       If you identify them having dignity & grace & male gender, they are gent tree or gallant tree.   

       If you don't like puns, well, I didn't start this mess.
sophocles, May 14 2014

       You just couldn't leaf well enough alone, could you. At least you left AI out of it - thank you.
normzone, May 14 2014

       I've been reading the title as a bit of skiing nomenclature. . .   

       Treecognition: enough time to admire God's creation in the form of a spruce tree; enough time to do an inventory of body parts for later comparison; not enough time to successfully swerve out of the way.
FlyingToaster, May 14 2014


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