A living archive and virtual fieldsite exploring how digital technologies are transforming forests.
The Smart Forests Atlas is a research platform developed through the Smart Forests research project, which investigates the social-political impacts of digital technologies that monitor and govern forest environments. Our research project considers how forests and technologies are co-constituted. Rather than advocate for smartness, we question how and why forests are becoming technologically optimised to address environmental change.
The Atlas platform includes open data from the Smart Forests project, and provides tools for researchers, stakeholders and publics to gather, explore, analyse, annotate, reflect on and reimagine smart forest knowledges and technologies.
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.
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.
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.
Smart Forests Radio is a fortnightly podcast and listening library of conversations and acoustic fieldwork exploring forests, data, technologies, and forest entities. You can listen on multiple podcast platforms, including Apple, Spotify, Google, Podbean, and directly on the Atlas Radio.
Call for Participants
We invite participation in the Smart Forests Atlas. If you are involved in a project using digital technologies in forest environments, we invite you to contribute materials and share local practices, experiences, and concerns. Write to us at email@example.com for an account.
The Atlas has been developed in collaboration with the digital tools cooperative, Common Knowledge. It was first launched at the Participatory Design Conference in August 2022 and at The Forest Multiple symposium in October 2022.
Learn more about the Smart Forests project, including related journal articles.