CROSS-FOREST project: open forest data from Spain and Portugal

Cross-Forest is an example of EU-funded innovation aimed at facilitating cross-border interaction between public administrations and promoting an interoperable European digital ecosystem.

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Photo: Cross-Forest project

Cross-Forest is a project funded by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecom programme that aims at developing Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) focused on obtaining predictions that allow estimating the evolution and wood quality of forests at a national scale (CAMBRIC pilot), and assessing and controlling forest fires using information related to forest fuels and propagation models (FRAME pilot).

These objectives are pursued based on public forest datasets (geographic and alphanumeric) from Portugal and Spain. High-Performance Computing (HPC) resources are being used due to the complexity of the models employed and to the need of performing multiple simulations under different configurations.

With this goal, Cross-Forest is developing a cross-border ontology (Iberian) for forest data from Portugal and Spain in collaboration with the Portuguese and Spanish Public Administrations, and provides a public repository (Endpoint) based on the recommendations from INSPIRE and Linked Open Data (LOD), where forest data are published, in accordance with the ontology. The data model and publication of LOD is a basis to allow forest professionals and citizens to have easy and free access to the forest datasets produced by Portugal and Spain.

The viewer Forest Explorer has been set-up so as to facilitate the exploration of forest data through an interactive map. So far, data from the Spanish National Forest Inventory (IFN) and National Forest Map (FME) are published, and data from Portugal will soon be available.

Further improvements are being performed on the ontologies and published data. In addition, an ontology is being carried out for the establishment of a geographical network to which different types of forest and environmental LODs can refer with a spatial resolution of 25m.

The two pilots, FRAME and CAMBrIc are being developed to demonstrate the concept of the project. CAMBRIC focuses on the simulation of different forest management scenarios, while FRAME aims to simulate fire propagation and suppression techniques, taking into account terrain, fuel and weather conditions, which vary spatially and temporally.

A first evaluation of the results of the project has been conducted, which shows that users consider the objectives of Cross-Forest to be very relevant, as the project provides public data, in an open manner, useful for forest management and decision-making, as well as for the prevention of forest fires.

You can follow Cross-Forest on Twitter, and check the official website for regular upadtes. For more information on the EU’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) funding instruments click here.