Metsäverkko puts the forest in your pocket
One thing is certain: in the future, forest management will be increasingly digital, unconstrained by time or place. And we are heading towards virtual forests. There will be a day when forest owners will be able to visit their forests from the comfort of their own living room – maybe not quite tomorrow; there are still a few development steps to be taken, but the virtual forests are coming.
At the moment, Metsä Group is working with Tieto Oyj and start-up company CTRL Reality to develop a virtual forest demo, which will be ready in autumn 2017. “Our goal is to create a method for creating a virtual replica of any forest, using data from a variety of sources,” says Juha Jumppanen, SVP, Member Services at Metsä Group.
Advanced new technologies have quickly become a part of the forest industry and have brought many opportunities with them: new kinds of services and convenience for forest owners, more accurate information about forest properties, and decreasing costs. Contrary to what you might think, in many ways digital forest services bring forest owners closer than before to their forests and forest management.
“New methods will revolutionise forest planning. They will help lower the costs of drawing up forest plans, and the information concerning a forest property will be more accurate. In the future, when buying a forest property, there may be a drone video of it available, and it will be possible to also have 3D or virtual forest plans. The virtual forest plan will be possible soon – the pace of development of the technology and equipment in the field is astounding. In the future, we will be able to utilise virtual forest plans when we meet with forest owners and make a virtual visit to their forests, for instance,” says Jumppanen on the direction of development.
As the forerunner in the field, Metsä Group has made active use of digitalisation for developing the company’s existing and new services for forest owners. An example of the new services at the disposal of forest owners is Metsä Group’s Metsäverkko mobile application, launched at the end of 2014. This is a mobile forest plan, a “pocket forest” so to speak, which makes it possible to conduct forest business anytime and anywhere.
“Forest owners can upload their own forest plan to their mobile device, making it possible to check and manage it using the device. When moving around in the forest, you can use the Metsäverkko mobile application to see on a map where you are walking, as well as what kinds of forest management and logging work needs to be carried out next in each plot as well and their income/expenditure forecasts,” says Jumppanen.