June 18, 2020 – LlamaZOO Interactive has announced that it has been awarded CAD $300,000 in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Faculty of Forestry and FPInnovations, to further develop and commercialize TimberOps, the company’s immersive visual analytics platform for forest operations and land management. The funding granted by Innovate BC will help to advance the technical research & development of TimberOps and will be used to create the UBC Forest Engagement Initiative, a VR/AR-enabled stakeholder engagement facility that uses TimberOps to demonstrate landscape-level forest resources management.
LlamaZOO is leveraging it’s decades of experience with spatial data and mixed reality to create tools which combine big data, data analysis and real-time visualization to help solve real-world problems. TimberOps fuses complex landscape level geospatial, and satellite data, with planning and analysis tools into an interactive true to scale digital twin of the planned, current, and future states of the environment.
“Managing resources on large forestry lands is a complex task that has historically been a slow, expensive process involving extensive back-and-forth travel to remote locations and in-office designing,“ said Charles Lavigne, CEO and Co-Founder, LlamaZOO Interactive. “TimberOps solves these significant resource challenges. We’re excited to bring this technology to students and future generations of forestry operators.”
The UBC Forest Engagement Initiative facility will serve as a training, test and demonstration site of TimberOps for UBC forestry students and industry stakeholders led by Dr. Dominik Roeser, Associate Professor, Forest & Wildfire Operations at UBC. It will also be an industry pathway to demonstrate the technology and digital innovation to pilot patrons of TimberOps. Work done at the facility will foster data and evidence-based conversations for all stakeholders of the forest industry, including forestry-driven companies, government, indigenous and local communities, and forestry science research and education institutions.
“Working and teaching in virtual reality has the potential to revolutionize the way we work in forestry in the future. The Ignite grant could not have come at a better time as we are forced to move teaching from the field into an online environment due to Covid-19,” said Dr. Dominik Roeser, Associate Professor Forest & Wildfire Operations at UBC. “Our UBC Forestry students and forest industry partners are looking for innovative solutions that enable better engagement and decision making and the TimberOps platform is helping tremendously to get us there.”
TimberOps integrates various forestry and land resources data on a large digital landscape, with analytical tools for collaborative, data-driven decision making and business intelligence. Designed to facilitate cutblock planning, road surveying and other forestry operations, it helps reduce the cost of forestry planning and resource management. By integrating all available data on a high-fidelity, three-dimensional digital landscape, LlamaZOO states that TimberOps can help forest stakeholders to:
- Design accurate cutblocks and roads in-office and improve planning accuracy;
- Reduce field planning trips and travel costs as well as improve safety;
- Meet multi-objective land management goals involving watersheds, wildlife habitat and VQA;
- Facilitate stakeholder and community consultations with intuitive topographic visualizations and remote connectivity;
- Reduce onboarding and training time while improving quality assurance.
“We are proud to have contributed to this innovative project alongside our partners, LlamaZOO and UBC, over the past three years. We had the opportunity to introduce the idea of using responsive visualization technologies for forest sector applications, which fits perfectly with our vision of an exciting future of digitalization in the sustainable management of forests in Canada,” said Denis Cormier, Vice President, Research Operations at FPInnovations. “We are grateful for the support provided by Innovate BC’s Ignite program, which will further accelerate the commercial applications of this tool.”
Image credit: LlamaZOO