Mapping Forest Roads with Forestry and Land Scotland

Developing a more efficient way to map a road network which spans over 10,000km, primarily in rural and remote areas.
Forestry and Land Scotland - Case Study - Digiflec

The Problem  

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), responsible for managing a vast rural and remote road network, sought a tech-based solution which would outperform their longstanding ‘man with van and clipboard’ road survey method. The traditional method of survey and inspection of roads, by physically driving into a forest, often hundreds of miles, to check condition and deterioration since the last site visit, was highly inefficient. 

To find a solution, FLS, in partnership with Stirling Council, became challenge stakeholders in CivTech 6.  

The Solution: Mapping Beyond The Clipboard  

Digiflec answered the challenge, demonstrating a custom-made mobile mapping system and post-processing software development capable of supplying FLS’s needed data.  

Over the course of a year, Digiflec collaboratively developed a LiDAR sensor-based mobile mapping system, coupled with geographic positioning technology and a 360° camera, specifically designed for use on unsealed forest roads.  

“Mobile Mapping will give us the ability to allocate the right resources to the right place and at the right time, and transform how we make best use of our assets and deliver the best value for the public purse.”  Engineering Team at FLS 

Digiflec developed artificial intelligence algorithms to automate road network extraction from the survey data, evaluate road surface damage severity, and calculate ‘cut and fill’, that being the volume of material which needs added or removed to modify a road as FLS require. A swept path analysis tool was also created to let FLS determine in advance if a large, bulky load, like a wind turbine blade, could be transported along a specific route. The mapped data was made available through Digiflec’s cloud-based visualisation platform and also delivered in a format compatible with FLS’s Geographic Information System (GIS). Mobile Mapping data can be supplied in a compatible format for any client’s existing GIS system, allowing them to continue to use the system they are familiar with.

At the end of the CivTech accelerator program, Digiflec and FLS entered into a pre-commercial agreement.

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