The Catalan Forest Laboratory is a joint initiative to make available for general public, expert or beginner information and data related to forests.
The Catalan Forest Laboratory is a joint initiative to make available for general public, expert or beginner information and data related to forests generated by two research centers: CREAF and CTFC.
The available data has been pre-processed by researchers and technicians from both centers to minimize errors during processing of the raw data. In this way, the Catalan Forest Laboratory became the starting point for researchers, students, managers or administration staff to have access to the data needed to carry out their work. It also offers to the general public a window to get to know one of the main treasures of our land – the forest.
It is basically composed by a portal where information, apps and other tools could be used and/or downloaded. Among them:
FES App, to view and download data of forest ecosystem services of Catalonia.
Allometr App, to calculate new variables from equations designed by species, geographical areas and levels (for all Spain).
IFN App, to access, view and download the data of the National Forest Inventory in Catalonia.
LiDAR App, to access, view and calculate forest variables from LiDAR data in Catalonia.
The added value of the laboratory is that it contains all the data in one place and it’s free of errors. The data can be consulted using a very intuitive map viewer and can be downloaded in different formats to use for research or management.
The cost of the project was 34,000 €/year. One technician was fully dedicated for coordinating and developing apps and other 5 were involved at different moments.
Evidence of success
Right now, the Laboratory is in a testing phase and, through a citizen science initiative, people are using it to spot bugs and propose improvements.
In any case, both the Climate Change Catalan Office and the Catalan Deputy Directorate-General of Forests have showed their support and interest, as well as provided funds and maintenance.
It includes more than 12 manuals; tutorials for each app, guides, practice cases and examples of use.
It was presented to the public in 2019 by 2 conferences.
Potential for learning or transfer
First, the Laboratory provides ready to use practical information that eases decision making, management and learning.
Second, it could be used at different scales, from local to regional levels.
Third, it is based on the available information about the forest cartography. If such kind of a database is available at the national level, the Laboratory is easily transferable and replicable.
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