LlamaZOO Interactive: Changing the game in forestry planning with a 3D world


One BC company has found a way to put three-dimensional (3D) gaming technology to use in the forestry sector. LlamaZOO Interactive was co-founded by game industry veterans who wanted to make more practical, yet disruptive use of 3D game visualization technology. They knew they could take gaming tech and transform it into real-world applications.


Today, LlamaZOO is a Spatial Business Intelligence company based out of Victoria, BC, with 40 employees. The company, founded in 2014 by Charles Lavigne and Kevin Oke, aims to leverage its world-leading 3D data visualization solutions to help First Nations and companies in forestry, mining, and beyond.


We spoke to Paul Wegenast, LlamaZOO’s Director of Sales & CX, about the company’s TimberOps Solution, developed specifically for the forest sector.

Wegenast explains that there’s an incredible amount of data available, including existing data on GeographicInformation Systems (GIS), satellite imagery, hydrology information, LightDetection and Ranging (LiDAR) data (tree locations, density, heights, etc.) and more. A substantial amount of data has been built up over time, but the problem is that it all lives on different technology platforms. LlamaZOO aggregates the data into one platform, which can be visualized into a clear and intuitive 3D world.


“For example, on Google Maps, we often switch to satellite imagery because we want to get a feel for what is there, but these maps lack the context for necessary for ideal decision making. Using our interactive platform, you get a 3D digital twin of the space, giving you a clear picture of what’s going on,” says Wegenast.


Through its TimberOps Solution, LlamaZOO is helping the forest sector make better and more insightful decisions when it comes to forestry planning, enabling them to be more sustainable and efficient. He explains there are at least three primary uses for the company’s technology in the forest industry. 

First, forest companies can use the technology for initially planning a cut block (an area that’s authorized for harvest) without the time and cost of travelling to the site. “They can put on a VR [virtual reality] headset and literally walk through the forest,” says Wegenast. “Most of the engineering work can be done virtually in their office and eventually travel to the site to ground truth and confirm the accuracy of the block layout.”


Secondly, it’s a powerful tool to use for stakeholder engagement because the data can be presented in 3D and displayed on a screen, allowing everyone to sit around a table and see exactly what things look like out in the forest. Stakeholders can provide input and feedback, and companies can make real-time changes to the plans.

Finally, a feature LlamaZOO is currently rolling out, is its Visual Quality Assessment tool. In British Columbia, we have world-renowned landscapes and a strong tourism industry, and there is a broad recognition of the importance of protecting the visual quality of these scenic areas. Before forestry companies can begin operations, they submit a visual impact assessment, which usually requires foresters to travel out to the site to conduct the assessment. Once LlamaZOO’s new technology launches in the fall, forest companies will be able to complete this whole process through their digital platform, saving travel time and reducing emissions.  


LlamaZOO’s platform is transforming how planning is done in the forest industry and across the resource sector by helping companies streamline planning, collaborate effectively, improve safety, save time and travel, and much more. It’s just one example of how the forest sector is using innovative technology to do things better, safer, and more sustainably.


If you’d like to learn more about the company and its TimberOps Solution, visit: https://llamazoo.com/