In the last years, there has been a growing need to improve forest-wood chain concerning all three pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental, and social). Using electronic systems, in particular GIS, GNSS, and various kinds of sensors related to forest harvesting, is clearly one of the most powerful instruments to reach this aim. The contribution of these tools to forest operation is wide and various. One of the most important application was integrating ICT and GPS/GNSS on-board systems on modern forest machines. This allowed one to ensure multiple benefits to forest operation field. On the one hand, electronic systems, and particularly GIS, could be used to improve forest harvesting with a previous planning of the skid trails network, in order to minimize utilization impacts and risks for operators, ensuring at the same time high work productivity. Moreover, GIS developed files could also be implemented in modern forest machine GPS/GNSS systems, helping forest machines operators to move only along a designed skid trails network or making it possible to avoid restricted access areas. On the other hand, modern forest machines could be equipped with complex and accurate sensors that are able to determine, register, and share information about wood biomass quantity and quality and even undertake economic evaluation of stumpage value. Finally, the input and output of these systems and sensors could be implemented in a decision support system (DSS) ensuring the best silvicultural and operative alternative from a sustainable forest management point of view. A detailed review of the contribution of electronics in the development of forest operations is provided here.
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