Smart Forests Atlas

The Smart Forests Atlas is a living archive and virtual fieldsite exploring how digital technologies are transforming forests.

The Atlas consists of four “wayfinding” devices, including Logbooks, a Map, a Radio, and Stories. This layered interface is designed to weave together a broad range of content, from interviews to sensor data, soundscapes, and images. The Atlas platform provides tools for researchers, stakeholders and publics to gather, explore, analyse, annotate, reflect on and reimagine smart forest knowledges and technologies.

The site draws on and extends practices of “digital gardening.” Rather than presenting finished ideas, the Smart Forests Atlas is a space for cultivating ideas publicly and sharing multimedia content. It will grow visibly over time and interweave different perspectives, thereby generating possibilities for critical reflection, practical relations, and epistemic justice.

Atlases have historically been used as colonial tools to mark out territory and delimit certain bodies’ movements through space. The Smart Forests Atlas seeks instead to open multiple trajectories and connections across plural knowledges and open data co-emergent with smart forests.

Moving around the Atlas

Rather than providing set guidelines for navigating the Atlas, we encourage wandering, lingering, returning and re-traversing the site. Four interconnected wayfinding tools underpin the organization of the site.

Logbooks record and reflect on existing smart forest projects developed by scientists, communities, and artists, linking to multimedia content and open data.
A Radio gathers interview podcasts with smart forest practitioners, field recordings and more-than-human soundscapes.
A Map offers a spatial and visual representation of smart forest geographies and their connections.
Stories situate and contextualise smart forest projects and Atlas materials through expanded narratives.

Different parts of the site are connected through a continually changing heat map of tags. By bringing together emerging digital technologies that sense, respond to, and reconstitute forests, the Atlas offers tools for attending to the complex socio-political impacts of smart forest technologies and how they reconfigure human, nonhuman, and environmental relationships.

This project has been developed in collaboration with the digital tools cooperative, Common Knowledge. It is currently in research and development and will be launched at the Participatory Design Conference in August 2022 and at The Forest Multiple Symposium in October 2022. Stay tuned!

Get in touch

We invite participation in the Smart Forests Atlas. If you know of or are involved in a project using digital technologies in forest environments and would like to contribute to the site, please get in touch!

Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates on the Smart Forests project and the Planetary Praxis research group.

For more information on the Smart Forests project, contact Prof Jennifer Gabrys.

Public API

This website includes a public API of site content. Read the OpenAPI documentation and also check out the Wagtail API usage guide. Enjoy!