beetle hunting

" We’re going on a beetle hunt"

Do you want to save the planet – well, a small part of it at least? That’s the premise of an exciting project Sogeti Sweden is collaborating on with state-owned Sveaskog, the country’s largest forestry owner. It’s using the Geo Satellite Intelligence (GSI) solution developed by Sogeti under my auspices to help halt the destructive annual march of the spruce bark beetle.

In 2018 alone, the spruce bark beetle destroyed 3 to 4 million cubic meters of forests in Sweden. By my calculation, that’s equivalent to the size of up to 52,000 football fields. And the threat is growing. An announcement from Sveaskog states that “favorable conditions” for spruce bark beetles include a hot and dry summer, which is predicted for 2019.

The announcement continues: “A newly formed crisis management team, with representatives from the forestry sector, county administration boards and the Swedish Forest Agency, predicts that this year’s attack will, in a worst-case scenario, reach 12,5 million cubic meters of affected forests. With today's timber prices, this corresponds to a wood/timber value of more than approx. EUR 6 million.”

Fighting back with AI

Now, with the help of our exciting new use for artificial intelligence (AI), Sveaskog is fighting back. GSI uses advanced cognitive image analysis, Machine Learning and Deep Learning and is based on open data from the European Space Agency (ESA). We’ve adapted it for the forestry sector’s spruce bark beetle problem and, using satellite images, we can effectively cover the whole of Sweden.

The GSI solution enables us to produce detailed maps that visualize the movements of the bark beetle in selected areas. We’ve been able to point out areas in the forest that are currently under attack and successively point out new affected areas. Fredrik Klang, Forestry Director at Sveaskog, says that they have verified the 100% accuracy of these areas with the help of drones. This is enabling Sveaskog to move fast to contain the beetles’ progress in affected forest areas and to reduce their spread.

Moving beyond the forests

We are extremely proud of our contribution to saving the Swedish forests. What’s equally exciting is the wider applications of our Geo Satellite Intelligence solution. By tweaking our algorithms, we can apply it to many other sectors with an interest in land areas, from road networks and watercourses, to construction sites. We are not only talking about helping our clients manage their existing operations and businesses, but Sogeti GSI can also provide them with new, innovative services, expanding their portfolios, businesses and client satisfaction.”


  • Joakim Wahlqvist
    Joakim Wahlqvist
    National Data & AI Lead
    +46 703 451 801

    Sorry, this content can only be visible if Functional Cookies are accepted. Please go to the Cookie Settings and change your preferences.