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Metsä Group: Virtual Forest

We created Virtual Forest together with Metsä. It is a unique data-driven simulation solution which brings forest management into the homes of forest owners.

Ksenia Avetisova

Head of Enhanced Reality Lab, Strategic Innovation Lead, Data-Driven Businesses

The challenge

In Finland, the average age of a forest owner is around 60 years, meaning that ownership will gradually be transferred to the younger generation of working urban citizens. As these new forest owners will have less know-how and skills required for professional forest management, this will have a profound effect on the environment and monetary value of the privately-owned forest.

The solution

Virtual forest is one example of how VR can be adapted into business in Scandinavia. Not only does it assimilate multiple data sources to virtualise real world forest assets in relevant detail, but it also enables the planning, simulation and, eventually, execution of real operations.

About the customer

Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bio-economy utilising renewable wood from northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp among other. Metsä Group’s data is used as one of the main sources for Digital Forest Twin underlying the Virtual Forest

Visit Metsä Group's website

Support for decision-making

Showcasing immediate and longer-term effects of operations performed on the forest, eliminating the need to travel to the plot itself.


Connected to online services

Integration to the online wood-trading solution for pricing estimation.


Authentic visualization

Presenting complex data models in an easily comprehensible format such as forest visualization, built on the data model in reference to the actual forest volume and condition.


The story behind 

75 % of Finland's total land area is covered by forest. Almost 700,000 Finns own forest, which comprises a total of approximately 40 billion euros. With the use of the latest technology, we are aiming at taking forest owners’ experience to the next level. The Virtual Forest is meant to support easier decision making for both experienced and new forest owners, helping them to decide on when and how their forest should be treated to create the best value. Good forest management will substantially increase the income generated by these privately-owned forests and have a positive overall impact on the environment.  

In the future, a forest owner and our forest expert can meet virtually in the owner’s forest. They will be able to compare the effects of different felling and forest management options on the scenery and income before taking any actions.

Juha Jumppanen

Vice President, Member Services, Metsä Group

The Virtual Forest service is created by five ecosystem partners including Tieto, Metsä Group, CTRL Reality, Simosol Oy and the University of Helsinki. The service is based on an accurate data model of the Finnish forest which presents the actual forest assets in a very easy-to-comprehend visual manner. It also allows the simulation of various alternatives of forest operations, such as thinning or clear-cutting, providing relevant recommendations to achieve the best economic value. This allows land owners to make the best decision for their tree crops, and gives the forest company better insights into the raw materials available and enables them better planning with sustainability considerations.  The platform is flexible enough to onboard the forest companies globally, revolutionizing the wood trade.

Additional information about the case

Juha Jumppanen shares insights about the project in his blog. Read more. 

In 2018 the project got recognised in the Auggie Awards as it was shortlisted among the 20 finalists out of 114 nominations from around the globe. Read more about this.

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