The Orbis Blog

Going Digital in Forestry

The world is constantly moving, ever-changing and continuously adapting to new inventions, trends, and arguably the most wide-spread, technology. So how do we, in such a niche environment as forestry, stay in line with these adaptations?


As with any technological revolution, in order to avoid being made obsolete, we, as existing companies, need to ensure we take advantage of these new opportunities to improve our business, products and services.


The trick is not to understand the technology, but to figure out what is available and how to capitalize on it. Technology is the tool to make the processes we already have more efficient and streamlined. Some of yesterday’s technologies are gone, but they all helped us become smarter, faster and more efficient than the competition.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” — Charles Darwin

In today’s modern society leveraging the “cloud” is the new vehicle for change.


To compete in today’s global economy, we must learn how to quickly leverage new technologies to ensure that our work forces remain competitive by implementing the right tools in our workplace.

Isaac Asimov put it best when he said, “I do not fear computers. I fear lack of them.”

Technology should not be implemented to take foresters out of the woods, but instead put the technology in their hands to create a revolutionary digital experience.

Foresters are rapidly adopting Esri’s ArcGIS Online, which is an innovative cloud-based mapping and analysis solution that is driving innovation in the forest industry. Foresters are able to use it on a web browser, tablet, or smart phone to make maps, analyze data, share and collaborate. Data and maps are stored in a secure and private infrastructure and can be configured to meet their specific mapping and IT requirements.

Orbis client, Benjamin Ardrey with Bill Ardrey Forestry, Inc, recently experienced the positive outcome of a digital transformation by having his CAD data converted into modern day format by leveraging the out-of-the-box Esri web technology. Ben and his team are now able to access their data anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

Cloud computing, like ArcGIS Online, is driving the digital transformation. Beyond storing our data, we’re able to access enhanced availability, stability, and performance while improving agility and accelerating innovation. Data centralization, security and real-time access are only a few of its many benefits. Further, the power of the cloud delivers the means to create both a holistic and centric approach for teams to collaborate across multiple environments.

As an industry working across multiple states, countries, and even continents, this benefit optimizes the ongoing production of operations by creating a constant digital flow of information. From collecting data points in the field to storing our data in cloud-based information systems, each piece of technology plays an important role in the progress of managing timberland properties.

Although the forestry industry was born on the ground, the advancement in cloud technology is a step in the right direction and the key to how we grow our business moving forward.

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