forest from above with road crossing it

Project: Digitalisation in forestry

A paradigm shift is taking place in forestry, with new opportunities for the forest industry to use satellite data, laser scanning, drones and handling of data from the forest along the entire production chain. The aim of this project is to produce information about what is going on in the digitalisation in forestry field in southern Sweden.

This project was concluded in December 2018.

Project information

Project manager
Johan Bergh
Other project members
Jan Cserpes, Cserpes Consulting AB
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
The county administrative boards in Småland (Länsstyrelserna i Småland), the regional forest programme
30 June–31 Dec 2018
Forestry and wood technology (Department of forestry and wood technology, Faculty of technology)
Computer science, media technology (Department of computer science and media technology, Faculty of technology)

More about the project

There are many ongoing initiatives related to digital information management. There is a great need to coordinate and integrate within this area, in order to find ways to business benefits and more efficient handling of data and information.

Digital directives for specific forest stands are an example of a product that is in demand in operational forestry. It is especially important to improve the conditions for all different actors in the forest industry to benefit from the possibilities of digitisation.

A first step is to coordinate the initiatives that exist in southern Sweden. Part of this means in the long term an annual council as a forum for dialogue.

A feasibility study was carried out in the form of e.g. interviews with the relevant actors, including the Forestry Agency, Linnaeus University (Linnaeus University Centre for Data Intensive Sciences and Applications; big data), Information Engineering Center, Skogforsk, SLU, RISE (testing drones), the forest industry, innovation platforms, Heavy vehicles, and Katam technologies AB.

The purpose was to produce information about what is going on in southern Sweden, for future coordination and streamlining of the work. A brief summary of the initial study follows here:

  • There is already a wide range of applications in many areas for forestry, where digital maps and geodata are obvious and in many cases indispensable.
  • The industry has already technologically enabled a certain degree of coherent, digital flows in its processes, from extracting basic map information and delivering processed maps for various purposes, to being able to send information between machines and systems in the forestry process.
  • The forest industry has come a long way in several areas, the industry has also taken steps in digitisation for support for forest owners.
  • This area has more potential and develops rapidly right now.
  • Technologies that we believe in today and invest resources and capital in developing and finding benefits, can be quickly eliminated by new phenomena.
  • Virtual reality (VR), enhanced reality (AR) and 3D maps exist today and the technology is getting mature, though the strong applications have not come within forestry.
  • Within newer areas such as automation (robotics), AI and machine learning, there are mainly newly established administrative applications, though so far few.
  • Many projects are still at the test and lab stage, but that these areas will grow strongly and we will see more applications, including forests, which will bring great benefit within the next few years.
  • Digitisation has already had a profound and broad impact on forestry and is seen in many places as a natural part of operations and development.
  • Digitisation will also be the single biggest influence factor for change and innovation in forestry in the next few years and with all certainty even after that.

The research in this project is part of the research groups Forestry and Wood Technology and Forestry, Wood and Building Technologies.