UNITE GEOTRAIL RESEARCH PROJECT
The UNITE Geotrail research project of the University of Eastern Finland collects information on people’s forest experiences and preferences and tests a method for collecting research data based on mobile technology and gameplay using geocaches. Watch our video! The project has established four geocaching trails in Eastern and Western Finland. In North Carelia, the trails circulate at Lehmonharju in Kontiolahti and at Ruunaa National Hiking Area in Lieksa. In Pirkanmaa, two trails have been opened near Tampere, in Hervanta, and in Seitseminen National Park, in Ylöjärvi and Ikaalinen municipalities. In the study, we explore how people perceive their human-forest relationship in different types of forest environments. With each geocache, it is possible to answer research questions about the surrounding environment and gameplay in Finnish or in English. Participating in the study is completely voluntary, as it is possible to find the caches without participating, although all submitted answers are valuable. The UNITE Geotrail research project is part of the Academy of Finland’s UNITE flagship which is exploring the interaction between forests, people, and machines. The project is coordinated by the Department of Forest Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland, and it also involves researchers from Gamification Group which is affiliated with the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences at Tampere University. The research project has been carried out in close cooperation with the Geocaching Association of Finland Geonautit ry, a member of the Finnish Outdoor Association Suomen Latu. The trails have been planned together with the landowners. As the trails circulate in nature, it is important for people to act responsibly, and not disturb the environment and nature while playing. Please follow Outdoor Etiquette.
Forest-Human-Machine Interplay - Building Resilience, Redefining Value Networks and Enabling Meaningful Experiences (UNITE)
In a biosociety, humans and machines will steward our planet collaboratively and enable sustainable, rich and meaningful living for generations to come. To reach this vision, our flagship will develop 1) disruptive technologies for capturing forest ecosystem structure and functioning, 2) agile knowledge creation methods based on the forest data 3) smart decision support for human actions in space and time and 4) gameful forest interactions through gamification and virtual reality approaches for enhancing human-nature interplay. Our consortium brings together world leading research groups in forest sciences, geospatial technology, and gamification / gameful human-technology interaction, of which research and co-creation with key stakeholders and scientific collaborators will provide knowledge-based support for societies, industry and individuals to adapt changes that are caused by changes in natural – business -, and societal systems.