Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research Remote Sensing and Data Scientist Dr Jan Schindler is leading one of four projects selected for a joint New Zealand-Singapore Data Science research programme.
Bridging the gap between remote sensing and tree modelling with data science will leverage joint Kiwi/Singaporean expertise in data science, remote sensing, and 3D modelling to establish a proof-of-concept integrated methodology.
Singapore, the ‘City in a Garden’, embodies the ‘green city’ concept with more than 7 million urban trees covering 700 km2, and New Zealand, with 24% of its 270,000 km2 land covered in forest, actively support and promote urban re-greening in many of their cities.
"Sustaining and enhancing biodiversity and healthy living environments are priorities for Singapore and New Zealand that require careful management of trees in urban areas and forest, but we are limited by the quality of available data, tools, and techniques to inform management decisions," says Dr Schindler.
"Our proposal is to develop novel data-science methods for extracting tree species information from petabytes of multiresolution remote-sensing data to model tree species and their interactions with the environment, and subsequently analyse their socio-economic impacts," says Dr Schindler.
"This work will form the basis for future research collaborations to enable further modelling, simulation, and analysis. In the long term, our work will empower and inform decision-makers on trees and environmental considerations for the greater benefit of both New Zealand and Singapore."
MBIE's funding commitment for this research project is $3 million over three years with a total investment of $11 million across all four data science projects. This represents New Zealand’s largest ever single investment in a bilateral science programme.
The investment aims to accelerate the development of data science capability in both countries, and will support collaboration between a wide range of New Zealand research institutes and leading Singapore researchers across several priority areas. These include health, natural language processing, 3D temporal-spatial sensing of the environment.
The project is supported by the Catalyst: Strategic Fund from Government Funding, administered by MBIE.
The other three organisations in the Data Science programme include the University of Auckland (Dr Miao Qiao - Advanced Graph Analytics for Human Brain Connectivity), Massey University (Prof Ruili Wang - Natural Language Processing for Q&A in Indigenous/Vernacular Languages) and Auckland University of Technology (Prof Nikola Kasavov - Computational neuro-genetic modelling for diagnosis and prognosis in mental health).
Project team contacts
- Dr Jan Schindler (Science Leader), Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, New Zealand
- Dr Like Gobeawan (Principal Investigator), Institute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR, Singapore
- Dr Alan Tan (Key Researcher), Scion, New Zealand
- Professor Richard Green (Key Researcher), University of Canterbury, New Zealand
- Associate Professor Lee Bu Sung (Key Researcher), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
- Professor Mengjie Zhang (Key Individual), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand