Arbonaut created a ‘Forest Google’

Front page of ArboTimber. Image processing: Suvi Pessala

The technology company Arbonaut has launched a web search engine named ArboTimber, which helps you to specify and search for forest compartments in Finnish forests. A forest compartment is a small area consisting of a homogeneous forest stand, as well as having homogeneous soil and weather conditions.

The search criteria available include the tree species, the minimum length and average diameter of trees, as well as the geographical region or area, to mention a few. The results show a list of the compartments mating the criteria, the available inventory information for the species selected, and the type of harvesting that would be appropriate for each compartment.

The software also provides an estimate of the cost of harvesting, depending on whether thinning or regeneration is chosen. It also shows any restrictions of use for the compartment.

More detailed information on the compartments is available against payment. The basic information package includes all inventory information, the registration number of the forest holding and various maps of the compartment. Registered users of ArboTimber can view the maps on their own websites.

ArboTimber is not designed so that you could conclude timber deals through it, though the idea is to provide baseline data for discussing a deal. Information as to whether the trees in a compartment are actually for sale cannot be obtained through ArboTimber.

”In fact, timber trade in Finland may have been overly based on what is offered for sale on the market. The new tool helps to make demand visible as well,” says Tuomo Kauranne, Executive Director at Arbonaut.

The software is based on open-source forest data available in Finland. It currently encompasses seven million hectares of the roughly 21 million hectares of commercial forests in Finland, but the area is going to be further extended within this year.

The search engine can access the data of 3.7 million forest compartments. Kauranne characterises it as a sort of Google of Finnish forests.


Front page of ArboTimber, only in Finnish

Homepage of Arbonaut


 

Author

Hannes Mäntyranta

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