SLU news

Easier to use open data on forests

Published: 08 February 2017

Recently SLU launched a new tool to access forest statistics from the Swedish National Forest Inventory (NFI). In the pipeline also lies the launch of a new Forest Data Lab at SLU. The lab will assist users to make forest estimates, visualisations and scenario analyses.

Forest information is needed for many different purposes. That is why it is important to offer easy access to the data and the analysis tools that are managed by SLU.

The Swedish NFI statistics is now also available openly in PX-Web, as well as in the interactive TaxWebb tool. PX-Web is an interface developed by Statistics Sweden and it is used by many other government agencies in Sweden. Neil Cory is an analyst at the Swedish NFI and also works with tools to provide the public with access to their data.

"Px-Web is simple to grasp and a lot of people will feel at home using it because other government agencies share the same interface. More advanced users will probably appreciate that the information also is accessible through a built-in API", says Neil Cory.

During this spring the SLU Forest Map will also be released in a new interface. It is a product with full coverage detailed spatial information on Swedish forests, based on the combination of satellite images and NFI data.

The Forest Data Lab – creative meeting place

Recently SLU was granted funds to create the Forest Data Lab, a new and experimental meeting place. The lab will focus on new digital technology, analysis and visualisation of forest data, and making SLU's forest data accessible. The Forest Data Lab will formally be launched during the autumn, but has already started a series of seminars in cooperation with the remote sensing laboratory at SLU (Ljungbergslaboratoriet). The seminar series will for instance cover a new tool for analysis of habitats within SLU's Heureka System and the possibilities to integrate forest information in Minecraft.

Anna-Lena Axelsson is one of the principal researchers at the Forest Data Lab.

"Our objective is to connect with more users of forest data as well as with users in need of forest decision support. We hope that companies will develop new products based on the data and the knowledge that we can provide to them," says Anna-Lena Axelsson.

To increase the benefits of forest data in the Swedish society SLU also cooperates with 27 other government agencies on the challenge award contest Hack for Sweden. The challenge for the competing teams is to create new applications and services in 24 hours using open government data.

"We want to reach more users of forest data and hope to get help with new and innovative ways to spread our knowledge on forests, maybe though new apps or games like Minecraft", says Anna-Lena Axelsson.

Anna-Lena Axelsson will talk more about the Forest Data Lab at an upcoming lunch seminar in Umeå, March 1. Mark the date!


Anna-Lena Axelsson, researcher
Dept. Forest Resource Management, SLU, +46(0)90-786 85 91, +46(0)70-376 21 71