VFP has been under development for a year and a half now and is to the point where we feel comfortable demonstrating its core functionality. With the basic framework for VFP in place, we are continuing make improvements and build additional functionality. Scheduled improvements include:
A Larger Terrain: Realistic stream classes, lakes, ponds, meadows, mountains, canyons, multiple road types, and viewshed protection zones.
Wildlife Monitoring: Common wildlife and protected species populated and governed through a new habitat quality monitoring system which will allow you to track animals in real time and see what habitats they are utilizing. With this information users will be able to better manage for the animals preferred habitat elements.
Real Time Canopy Coverage Monitoring: An experimental version of this is already available in VFP, which calculates the spatially explicit non-overlapping canopy coverage. Upon completion, users will be able to chart their canopy coverage over time displaying canopies from different size classes with different colors.
DEM Import: We have been experimenting with procedurally modifying Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) to make them usable in the VFP environment. We are working towards an efficient method to import many types of of GIS data such as elevation, streams, roads, and gates.
New User Interface and Improved Experience: Once we complete our set of core features, we will completely overhaul navigation of VFP. Our goal is to make Visual Forester accessible to users at all levels.
Stochastic Events: Events like wildfires and beetle infestation will be triggered in tracts that are overstocked, or dead and dying. Monitoring fuel loading, ladder fuels and overall forest health will be an ongoing challenge with stand ingrowth and mortality. This will be the catalyst for Fuels reduction, Sanitation and Salvage operations.