General Technical Report (GTR)
Raster modeling is an integral component of spatial analysis. However, conventional raster modeling techniques can require a substantial amount of processing time and storage space, often limiting the types of analyses that can be performed. To address this issue, we have developed Function Modeling. Function Modeling is a new modeling framework that streamlines the raster modeling process by utilizing delayed reading methods. Using this approach, we have successfully characterized the impacts of fuel treatments on soil erosion, estimated basal area, trees, and tons of above ground biomass per acre, identified locations in need of forest management, calculated forest residuals given multiple management prescriptions, and developed forest residual delivery cost models all in a fraction of the time and storage space it would take to perform similar analysis using conventional methods. To facilitate the use of Function Modeling, we have built an object oriented .NET library called RMRS Raster Utility. RMRS Raster Utility is free, readily available, and has an intuitive user interface that directly plugs into Environmental Science Research Institute (ESRI)’s software. In this paper we will discuss the basic concepts behind Function Modeling and present some our recent findings related to using this technique to estimate FIA plot characteristics from NAIP imagery.