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Last update: May 2021

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Plateform name
Computree (Plateforme géomatique de traitement de données)
Coordination : GIP Ecofor (Paris, Nancy)

Computree logo


Plateform description

The Computree platform is a collaborative tool for data processing in forestry contexts or natural environment management in general. It offers a modular environment for processing mainly remote sensing data: terrestrial LIDAR, aerial LIDAR, aerial or satellite photographs, raster data (digital terrain, surface or height models), etc. However, its processing capabilities can be extended to any type of 3D, 2D or attribute geometric data.

Computree's main objective is to promote synergies in the development and use of data processing methods for the description, analysis and inventory of forest stands or other natural environments. This objective can be seen from three complementary angles:

  • facilitate the development, validation, availability and benchmarking of innovative algorithms and workflows;
  • to allow simple and efficient use of these algorithms for scientific research purposes; in this case the Computree platform is an analysis tool used to answer scientific questions related to the forest;
  • to bring methods and tools to maturity and ultimately make them available for operational use in production, in any relevant field, such as forest inventory, description of natural environments, planning or forest management.

The interaction between these three visions is at the heart of the Computree platform's philosophy.

The platform's functionalities can be extended to uses unrelated to natural environments via plug-ins. However, the shared resources allocated to the management and maintenance of the platform will not operate specifically in these areas...

Services offer

The platform gives its users the possibility to use data processing functionalities. The user can create processing sequences from unitary bricks called "steps" contained in modules (plugins). Each step allows, from input data, to apply an algorithm to produce output data. Thus, by chaining unitary steps, the user can create a complete treatment adapted to his needs. Some steps can be very generic (thus usable in many contexts), others are dedicated to a very specific use. In addition, the platform is built in such a way as to be able to add functionalities in the form of modules that can be shared or not.

The platform is composed of the following elements:

  • The core contains all common processing management functionalities, shared data structures and the plugin management system. The core is also in charge of the connection with the external libraries that can be used within the platform.
  • The standard graphical user interface allows the interactive use of all the functionalities of the core and its extensions (plugins).
  • The standard batch interface allows the execution, without a graphical interface, of Computree processing scripts.
  • Plugins are standalone modules, connected only to the core, allowing to add functionalities. The development of a plugin is totally independent from that of other plugins.
  • However, each plugin can be used in conjunction with other plugins at runtime.
  • Libraries are standalone modules, connected only to the core, making generic features available to plugins.
  • One plugin and several core libraries are provided as standard with the platform, and contain the essential functionalities for creating processing chains (in particular import/export formats).
  • There is no limit to the number of plugins or libraries that can be added to Computree. In the same way, the system is designed to allow the use of new interfaces, graphical or not, developed for example for specific uses enhancing only certain plugins.
  • In addition, seminars are organized for users to learn how to use Computree.

The Computree platform was initiated in spring 2010 as part of a collaboration between the Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) department of the French National Forestry Office (ONF) and the Ecole nationale supérieure des arts et métiers (ENSAM) in Cluny, within the ANR Emerge project and then the ANR Foresee project. In 2018, the transfer of the governance and management of the ONF platform to the Ecofor public interest group was organised, which set up a Computree group composed of the Ecofor GIP, the ONF, the INRAE, the Université Sherbrooke (Canada) and the IGN. Each member of the Computree group contributes personnel or money to the operation. The main staff contribution is provided by the ONF in the form of a part-time engineer.

Work description and access modalities

The core, the standard batch interface as well as the common plugins and libraries are released under the open-source LGPL (Lesser General Public License). The standard GUI is made available under the GPL (General Public License).

These elements can thus be used for any professional or personal use, commercial or not, respecting the conditions of the Computree Charter.

Computree users are asked to explicitly cite the platform, plugins and libraries used in all published works, thus enhancing the results obtained using Computree. The platform provides a feature to obtain the appropriate citation information for each processing string created by the user.

Each plugin or library (apart from common plugins) is the property of an author, group, organization, institution, company or member of the Computree community that generated it.
Access unit and cost

The members of the Computree group undertake to allocate significant resources (of equivalent value greater than or equal to €5,000 per year), over time, to maintain or develop the core elements of the Computree platform.

Anyone can be a user of the Computree platform to carry out data processing and participate in introductory or in-depth thematic seminars against invoicing of the corresponding fees.


Computer server.