Virtual forest adviser

Track 02: Artificial intelligence, analytics, and value from data

Tags: artificial intelligence, mobile devices, augmented reality, visualization, GIS.

Sponsor: Metsä Group



The objective is to develop a concept of a virtual forest adviser that informs the user in a forest of the next operation that should be carried out in a particular stand.



The structure of forest ownership is changing rapidly. Forest owners are urbanising, their education levels are higher, they are less inclined to act on their own initiative and the need for services is growing.

In the future, an increasingly small number of forest owners will have the time, will and skill to manage their forests. Forestry competence will also decline. Not all forest owners have a forest plan for their forests that acts as a forestry handbook.

Build an example of a virtual forest adviser concept that works on a mobile device. The virtual forest adviser should be able to measure the trees with photography, and then inform the user of the required actions and their financial impact, as well as displaying an image of the scenery after the action using augmented reality.


Approaches and considerations

Consider how the application knows that it is in a forest, and what information is available regarding that particular forest stand delineation.

Next, consider how to measure the forest visually, i.e. with mobile phone’s camera and use machine vision to analyze the photo.

Finally, the recommendations and supporting information should be presented. How does that look? How does the process work from end to end? Where all the data is coming from?

As an example of measuring standing timber take a look at Trestima

The result or the process could possible be linked and/or supported by GIS tools (such as ArcGIS). Note that GIS tools operate both 2D and 3D.



Collected data package



You can consider and try out the below examples and technologies. However, you’re not limited to use them at all, or only them. You should explore different approaches and find technology that supports your idea.


IBM DSX / Machine Learning


Watson APIs


Watson Visual Recognition


ArcGIS Online of Xamk

Hackathon groups are granted an account for ArcGIS Online GIS platform. Your account has professional map authoring, publishing and analysis capabilities and rights.

A username and a password for the first login are provided per group by the staff.

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Esri ArcGIS Desktop

You can use a trial desktop installation.


Esri developer docs