Intra stand spatial information is often collected in ecological investigations, when functioning or interactions in the ecosystem are studied. Local relative accuracy is often given priority in such cases. Forest maps with accurate absolute positions in a global coordinate system are needed in remote-sensing applications for validation and calibration purposes. Establishing the absolute position is particularly difficult under a canopy as is creating undistorted coordinate systems for large plots in the forest. We present a method that can be used for the absolute mapping of point features under a canopy that is efficient for large forest plots. In this method, an undistorted network of control points is established in the forest using photogrammetric observations of treetops. These points are used for the positioning of other points, using redundant observations of interpoint distances and azimuths and a least squares adjustment. The method provides decimetre-level accuracy and only one person is required to conduct the work. An estimate of the positioning accuracy of each point is readily available in the field. We present the method, a simulation study that explores the potential of the method and results from an experiment in a mixed boreal stand in southern Finland.