A time study and description of the work methods for the field work in the National Inventory of Landscapes in Sweden
Abstract: Fieldwork is an essential part of forest or environmental inventories and has one of the biggest parts of the budget, but the way in which the resources are distributed is usually unknown. The use of a time study of the inventory fieldwork seems to be a good approach to understand the way the resources are distributed. Time studies have already been used for many years in the industry and in the forest sector in order to analyze and optimize the working methods. This study applies this methodology to study fieldwork of the National Inventory of Landscapes in Sweden, (NILS) during the season 2004. NILS survey the biological diversity, its factors and other cultural and recreational values from a national perspective and study its changes over time. Fieldwork is done by teams of two persons distributed along the whole of Sweden and includes transportation, field inventory and administrative work. Each team spend an average of two hours and 25 minutes travelling to the location of the area of study every working day, in addition they have to walk an average of 16 minutes. The field inventory is divided into plots and lines. The average time per each plot done by two persons is 34 minutes. The average time per each line done by two persons is 18 minutes. The average time spend by a team in the administrative work is 42 minutes every day. The estimation of the cost of each plot is 1592 SEK and each line 859 SEK. There are 7572 plots and lines distributed in to 631 landscape areas to be inventoried one fifth every year in a cycle of five years. The main factors that influence the consumed time considered in this study are: Area, number of divisions of the plot, number of intersections found in the line and presence of obstacles that makes the plot or parts of the line inaccessible. There are some other factors that should be analyzed in future studies by comparison of the time consumed and the data obtained in the inventory. The working method used by the different teams was very similar with only a few differences often due to the differences between the areas. There is a great potential to continue this line of investigation within inventories since there is not much done in this direction.
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