3D FOREST VISUALIZATION

(For other languages, try the Altavista "Translate" tool. The English version of this WEB site is graetly inspired from the French translation of the tool).
French original version



1- Basic forest map

  • Rivers, lakes
  • Forests
  • Roads
  • Cottages
  • Ground landscape
2- Digitalization of the information and numeric files transfer into landscape visualization softwares
3- 3D Virtual landscape visualization












Vistapro




GenesisII





Sustainable forest management requires today good communication between all the users of a given territory.  The timber products constitute, in Quebec, the resources generating the most significant economic repercussions in the majority of the areas and several communities depend on forest management activities for their survival.  However, the natural environment consists of ecosystems whose varied resources do not always benefit of appropriate protection and development measures.

During the past recent years, several efforts were engaged to put at the foreground the potentials which represent the nonwoody forest products (NWFP ).  As an example, let us mention the work of the Model Forest of the Bas-Saint-Laurent who directed several studies in this respect. The development of the forest complementary products has namely as consequences to promote the protection of resources other than the timber products. These former resources are generally categorized in four principal subjects: forestry, agroforestry, wildlife and recreation.

The recreation resources are numerous, but one of the critical elements for their development relates to the landscape which is considered by several as a major resource. Traditionally, the management of forest areas in Quebec was focused on timber production only in the majority of the cases. Forest management tools still refer today upon technical concepts which are difficult to understand for common people. The planning of forest activities is framed, in Quebec, by strict legislations which are based on
a provincial forest inventory program having as the basic tool an ecoforest cartography, which requires advanced technical training for its use. It is certainly possible to integrate the development of resources like the landscape in forest planning, but the popularization of analysis methodologies remains a great challenge.

One of the most promising avenues for popularizing the forest planning activities based on the forest cartography is the use of 3D visualization softwares that can produce a surprising realism. Among the most known softwares, there is Bryce , Truflite , Terragen , Pavan , Genesis II , Vistapro and World Construction Set. There are others (for a rather complete review, consult the VTerrain  and 3DLinks sites), but those which appear the most interesting allow direct links with the geographical information systems (GIS) like ArcView and MapInfo, and at a reasonable cost.

The Vistapro and GenesisII softwares offer these advantages. I will thus show you, briefly, the possibilities allowing the simulation of the forest landscapes and the soil occupation in 3D, based on the Quebec provincial ecoforest maps.

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Last update:
January 2004


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