Nearly 2,000 forest owners testing virtual forest

In ForestTECH, Issue13 by FIEA

The virtual forest developed by Metsä Group, Tieto and CTRL Reality runs on all VR devices, and it can simulate different forest management methods and their impact on income and the landscape, for example. The solution can replace actual visits to the forest, and it helps to illustrate the impact of forest management activities, among others, to forest owners.

“Metsä Group built the first version of its virtual forest in autumn 2017. The version has been tested with forest owners ever since and, on the basis of feedback, we are developing the final version, which will be completed in autumn 2018. We demonstrated the virtual forest with Tieto at Slush in November 2017 and received tonnes of positive feedback from professionals in the digital sector”, says Juha Jumppanen, senior vice president for member services at Metsä Group.

“The virtual forest is part of Tieto’s Digital Forest Twin concept, and Tieto can also offer the virtual forest to other global forest industry operators. In addition, Tieto uses the concept to combine the special expertise of companies operating in the industry and its partners into an ecosystem that serves various parties. The service has already attracted plenty of interest among other forest industry operators, also outside Finland”, says Jaakko Kuusisaari, head of Wood and Fibre Solutions at Tieto.

The virtual forest is a true VR experience, and it runs on all VR headsets, and also on mobile devices and in web browsers. In the service, users can move from one site to another, see what harvesting and forest management activities should be carried out each time, and run estimates on the income and costs of each activity.

Users can also examine the properties of a single tree, such as volume and value. The virtual forest also shows what the forest would look like after different activities, and it offers 360-degree images of the forest. Using the virtual forest requires that users log in to Metsäverkko, Metsä Group’s electronic channel for wood trading and forest asset management.

Kaapo Seppälä, founder and shareholder of CTRL Reality, a company in charge of the technical implementation of the solution, says that the virtual forest is a new way of trading in wood. “The virtual forest also allows forest owners living in cities to have a look at their land and eliminates any obstacles from forest management and wood sales by illustrating the impact of forest management activities.”

Digital Forest Twin is an exact digital reproduction of a real-world forest area. It helps, for example, to calculate the value of a forest, steer forest planning, trade in wood, and plan and model functions related to wood, purchasing, harvesting and transportation.

Source & Photo: Metsa Group

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