Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative

Led by Songlin Fei, professor and the Dean's Remote Sensing Chair, the Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative (iDiF) at Purdue University is working towards developing platforms and strategies that leverage digital technology to measure, monitor and manage urban and rural forests to maximize social, economic and ecological benefits.

The initiative brings together a multidisciplinary research team to revolutionize forestry with an effective digital system for precision forest management and build a globally competitive next generation workforce for the information age.

The team is working to harmonize four key components of digital age technology – Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Edge and Cloud Computing – to advance the following thrusts: 

  • AI-assisted tree inventory with multi-platform and multi-scale remote sensing data
  • IoT, Big Data, and Edge and Cloud Computing enabled precision forest management and optimization
  • Large-scale forest health (fire, disease, disturbance) monitoring and mitigation
  • Digital technology savvy interdisciplinary workforce education (undergraduate & graduate)



To learn more about Purdue's Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative, contact Songlin Fei, iDiF director.


Forests support more than 11 million jobs (many in rural America) and contribute more than 77 billion dollars in timber-based products across the U.S. economy.  The hardwood industry has an economic impact of more than $10 billion and supports more than 70,000 jobs in Indiana.

Forests also provide vital ecosystem services, including flood control, carbon sequestration, nutrient management and recreational amenities. Advancing digital forestry can also lead to:

  • Improved data and tools for management decisions and policy making
  • Enhanced forest sustainability
  • Forest risk reduction and mitigation
  • Sustainable employment in rural America
  • Educated workforce for the information age

Taking the Lead

Digital devices put data from our fields, forests, and facilities at our fingertips. Only by harnessing data's power — and training others to do the same — can it create a sustainable agricultural future. At Purdue University, digital agriculture and data science leverages increasingly innovative technology with our world-renowned know-how to improve agricultural efficiency, productivity and sustainability.

Purdue Agriculture's vision is to be a global leader in:

  • Digital science and agriculture education to prepare our students for what's next
  • Outreach / training to empower producers and stakeholders
  • Applying data standards, analytics and management to decision-making

Forestry and Natural Resources, 715 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061 USA, (765) 494-3590

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