|QGIS - an interesting instrument for forestry planning concepts at local and regional level|
How QGIS was used
Within the whole planning process QGIS was used for the following four tasks:
Figure 1: Extract of the forestry measurements map
QGIS is an interesting tool for small planning offices, such as guaraci, as well as for the forest managers and owners. It can be used in a professional context and the presented output result was appreciated by all parties involved. For the mentioned tasks the present QGIS version “1.4 Enceladus” offers all necessary GIS tools. The most important qualities of QGIS are the intuitive user interface and the compatibility with different file formats. It is an ideal tool for projects that are on one hand based on existing geographic data and on the other hand require the acquisition of new data. The user-manual is helpful and easy to understand. Both from the technical as well as the financial perspective QGIS is an interesting alternative to other GIS software.
The core tasks of a forestry planning concept can be worked out with the mentioned basic GIS tools. Guaraci will continue to use QGIS for forestry planning at the forest owner level. Based on the experiences with the presented project, QGIS can also be recommended for forestry concepts at the level of local authorities. Larger, and more complex projects with detailed analysis requirements could be handled by the combination of QGIS with the Postgis spatial database server. New logging zones as well as forest reservates and protection zones can be easily digitized. Hopefully, forest owners and managers will increasingly use the potential of QGIS also for their yearly planning as well as the documentation of their forest activities.
This article was contributed in June 2010 by Raphael Häner. He is Dipl. Forst Ing. at ETH Zürich, Switzerland and founded his one-man company guaraci in 2009.