Inventory Management System: Check Cruising


Check cruising (auditing) is the process of revisiting inventory plots to collect repeat measurements that are considered to be ‘truth’. Data from these repeat measurements can be used to assess the accuracy of the initial measurements. It is an important part of data quality assessment in an inventory management system. WSG Inventory Management System supports check cruising throughout the data lifecycle including cruise design, field data collection, data QA and reporting.

Check cruising within WSG Inventory Management System can be broken into 3 main stages:

  1. Preparation - The preparation stage includes ensuring that the data model supports check cruising. While MobileMap inherently supports check cruising, with a dedicated ‘Check Cruise Mode’, the data model must include key fields to store check cruise information. These fields include the ‘Cruise_Type’ field at the Trees level, and optional notes and scoring fields at the Plots level. If check cruise scoring will be implemented within the system, then a Check_Rules table must be included in the data model.

  2. Data Collection - Once the data model is verified, collecting check cruise data is facilitated via ‘Check Cruise Mode’ in MobileMap. The check cruiser must make sure they have downloaded the original cruise data (Stands/Plots/Trees/Logs) prior to heading into the field. At that point they enable ‘Check Cruise Mode’ in MobileMap, navigate to the designated Plots and collect the check cruise data.

  3. Analysis - An important part of check cruising is the ability to calculate a check cruise score in order to obtain an objective assessment of cruise data quality. WSG Inventory Management System implements check cruise scoring within InventoryManager. This functionality is accessed via the Export function in InventoryManager, where calculation of check cruise is triggered by selecting ‘Include and Score’ or ‘Include, Score and Update’ option for Check Cruise Trees when exporting data.

In the sections below, the main stages above are described in more detail, including links to additional documentation.

Preparation - Data Model

Support for check cruising is provided via the following data model tables and fields:

  • Stands/Plots

    • Stands and Plots records are updated, rather than duplicated, during check cruise. Thus, any fields that will be collected by the check cruiser should be duplicated within the data model to avoid modifying or overwriting the original information in that field.

    • WSG recommends the following when duplicating fields in the Stands/Plots layers for check cruising

      • Add the suffix ‘_Check’ to the duplicated fields. For example, if the Plots layer includes a ‘Notes’ field and you would like the check cruiser to collect their own notes (rather than modifying the cruiser’s notes), add a ‘Notes_Check’ field to the data model. Examples include:

        • Notes_Check (Text, 1000 characters)

        • Cruiser_ID_Check (Text, 25 characters)

        • Flagged_OK_Check (Yes, 1 character, Coded Value Domain:Y=Yes, N=No)

      • Typically check cruise-specific fields are added to the end of the tables field list.

      • Update the MobileMap Settings to add any check cruise-specific fields to the ‘Check Cruise Only Fields’ list (Settings > MobileMap Cruise > Check Cruise > Check Cruise Only Fields).

  • Plots

    • Plots are updated (not duplicated) during check cruise. Field data collection fields are covered in the Stands/Plots section above. For check cruise scoring, add the following fields should be included in the Plots layer (for more details see )

      • Check_Score

        • Data Type: Integer or Single

        • Purpose: Stores numeric check score for a plot. Populated by InventoryManager when the 'Include, Score and Update’ option for Check Cruise Trees selected during Export. Can be used with ArcGIS Dashboards to provide charts of check cruise score by Cruiser ID.

      • Check_Details

        • Data Type: Text, 1000 characters

        • Purpose: Stores the name of the check rules that were violated and which contributed to the Plot-level score. Will repeat the rule for each violation. For example, if 2 trees violated the rule named ‘DBH Error’ and 1 tree violated the rule named ‘Species Error’ then the Check_Details for that plot will be ‘DBH Error; DBH Error; Species Error’.

      • Check_Score_Date

        • Data Type: Date

        • Purpose: Stores the date/time that the check score was last updated. This helps when analyzing check cruise scores by understanding if the score was calculated before or after other data updates.

  • Trees/Logs - Trees and logs are duplicated during check cruise. Thus, they do not need duplicate fields added like Stands/Plots. The following field is required, however:

    • Cruise_Type

      • Data Type: Text, 1 character

      • Allowed Values (Coded Value Domain): S=Standard, C=Check Cruise

      • Purpose: Records whether tree is a Standard tree or a Check Cruise tree. This field is auto-populated in MobileMap. When MobileMap is set to ‘Check Cruise Mode’ then a value of ‘C' is stored for all collected trees, otherwise a value of 'S’ is stored.

  • Check_Rules - This table is used by InventoryManager to manage check cruise scoring rules. It must be stored in the same service as the other tables. The fields that must be included are:

Preparation - Settings

The following settings settings are used for Check Cruise

  • Required settings

    • Check Cruise Mode

  • Optional settings

    • Check Cruise Only Fields (Settings > MobileMap Cruise > Check Cruise > Check Cruise Only Fields)

      • Comma separated list of all

    • Check Cruiser ID Field

    • Enable Copying of Cruise Trees into Check Cruise

Data Collection - Check Cruising

Once the data model has been configured, published and shared, it is ready to support check cruising. Assuming that one or more stands have been cruised, the following steps would be implemented to complete a check cruise.

  • Settings - The following settings should be set in MobileMap prior to check cruising

    • Enable check cruise mode by checking the checkbox in settings (Settings > MobileMap Cruise > Check Cruise > Check Cruise Mode)

    • Define Check Cruise Only Fields - this is actually more important for the standard cruisers as it hides check cruise-only fields when NOT check cruising

  • Identify Stands/Plots - There are a number of ways to identify stands and plots for cruising. Typically Stands are sampled (e.g., random sample of 5% of Stands cruised by each cruiser) and then Plots within a Stand are sampled (e.g., random Plot selected within the selected Stand then 2 adjacent plots also checked measured). The Stands/Plots selected for check cruise can be set to pre-defined status (e.g., ‘To Be Checked’) if it is available in the Stands/Plots ‘Status’ field.

  • Download - It is necessary to download the standard cruise data (Stands/Plots/Trees/Logs) to the check cruiser’s device prior to check cruising. In the case of a ‘blind’ check cruise, only the Stands/Plots data would be needed. The plots can be assigned to a specific check cruiser by setting their ID in the Check_Cruiser_ID field if present in the Stands/Plots. That way check cruisers can use Download Parameters in MobileMap to download the cruise data only for those Stands/Plots that have been designated as Check Cruise and assigned to them. Note that it is more challenging to restrict the download of Trees/Logs but this can be done by adding a Status field to these layers and updating the field in the same way as Stands/Plots. The exact approach will likely vary by data model, cruise type, data volume, etc. WSG or our partners can help support this if needed.

  • Enable check cruise mode (Settings > MobileMap Cruise > Check Cruise > Check Cruise Mode)

  • Data collection

    • Navigate to Plots designated for check cruising using standard navigation workflow and tools

    • Open ‘Tree list’ and copy standard trees to check cruise tree list. Note that copy of trees must be done before any tree data are entered.

    • Collect check cruise tree data by updating the copied data as needed to match field measurements. There should be a 1 to 1 match between check cruise trees and additional trees. Special steps must be taken for missing and added trees. The ‘Insert’ and ‘Delete’ tools generally should not be used during check cruise.

      • Added Trees - These are trees that are outside of the plot, or otherwise should not have been included (e.g. DBH below merchantable min DBH rule). In the check cruise tree list the corresponding tree should have it’s count set to 0. The field name for this is typically ‘Tally’ (because ‘Count’ is a reserved word in Esri data models and can’t be used as a field name), but it may appear as ‘T' (for tally), ‘C’ (for count), ‘N’ or 'Num’ (for number), etc. Refer to your own data model for what the label for this field is.

      • Missing Trees - These are trees that the original cruiser failed to record even though the are in the plot. Add these trees to the bottom of the tree list. They will not have a corresponding tree in the original tree table. These trees should always be added to the bottom of the tree list, never inserted in between other trees, even if they occur earlier in the sweep of the plot from North.

    • Upload - After all plots have been measured, upload the check cruise data using the same approach as uploading standard cruise data.

For additional information, please see:

Analysis - Data Quality Assessment

Check cruise analysis is a key component of data quality assessment. The ‘Shared Hosting’ implementation of InventoryManager supports manual analysis of check cruise data while all other implementations support both manual and automated analysis of check cruise data.

  • Manual - Manual analysis relies on the user to assess the match between the standard cruise data and check cruise data, either via visual review of the data in the Trees/Logs table in InventoryManager or through visual or quantitative analysis of exported data.

    • Trees/Logs tables - to visually review data quality, click on any check cruised plot in the InventoryManager map and review the data in the Trees and Logs tables. In these tables, records are sorted by ID and there should be 2 entries for each tree or log. The second entry will be displayed using a blue font to indicate that it is a check cruise entry. Visually compare the values within each pair of entries to assess how well they match.

    • Export - to perform a more quantitative manual assessment, export standard and check cruise data from InventoryManager using the Export function. When exporting data, first select the stand or stands in the map, click on the Export tab, select the export config file, then select (at a minimum) the ‘Include’ option for Check Cruise Trees. Do not enable FVS or TCruise export when exporting check cruise data. In the resulting Excel file, each row will contain the pair of records, with the standard record on the left and the related check cruise record on the right. Use standard Excel functions to calculate the differences between specific fields and apply any scoring logic desired. Note that this process can produce results similar to the automated check cruise score calculation described below but is more complicated and time consuming to implement.

  • Automated

    • Check Cruise Score -

      • Check Cruise Score calculation uses configurable check cruise scoring rules to automatically calculate check cruise scores at the tree and plot level, and optionally store the resulting score back to the Plots layer for further review and reporting. To implement check cruise scoring, the following steps must be completed:

        • Data model must include the Check_Rules table and Check_Score, Check_Details, and Check_Score_Date fields.

        • Select the Stands for which you want to calculate Check Cruise Score,

        • Export -using the Export function to export standard and check cruise data, select the option to ‘Include, Score and Update’ option for Check Cruise Trees.


        • Review the resulting export Excel file and the check cruise score that is applied to each checked plot in the selected Stand(s)

      • More details can be found in the “Calculate Check Cruise Score” section of

    • ArcGIS Dashboards

      • ArcGIS Dashboards ( ) is an out-of-the-box application available to most users via ArcGIS Online. It provides a configurable charting tool that can filter and group data, calculate statistics (min, max, average, etc.) and graphically display results using a use a range of chart types (pie charts, bar graphs, tables, etc.)

      • ArcGIS Dashboards can be developed to display check cruise results, including:

        • Percent of plots within a cruise that have been checked

        • Percent of plots measured by a cruiser that have been checked

        • Average check cruise score by cruiser