prepare custom data for the toolbox

There are some prerequisites for using the tools of the AFM toolbox with your custom data. You need:

  • access to an AFM toolbox. Depending on your choice, this can be either a local toolbox installation or the AFM toolbox server. In both cases, using the AFM toolbox is free of charge.
  • projections of forest development. The tools of the toolbox lets you explore effects of management and climate change scenarios. The underlying data, however, needs to be created by a forest ecosystem simulation model such as ForClim or PICUS. Forest models provide projections based on data for initial stand and site conditions, climate data and management descriptions. The typical approach is to cover a larger region/ landscape with different “stands” (either spatially explicit or classified into more generic stand and site types), and then simulate these stands for different scenarios.
  • data processing. The modeling results need to be processed and converted to a specific AFM toolbox data format. A data client and extensive documentation support this step.

The following steps provide more details:

use the AFM toolbox on the central server

This is the simpler approach that requires only a dedicated private database on the central AFM toolbox server. Such a private database is set up for you (free of charge) by the AFM toolbox team. The IT security of the hosting university imposes strict rules for accessing the database for writing data which requires some manual intervention into the setup process.

Please contact or to get access to your private AFM toolbox.

download and install your own toolbox

The most flexible approach is to install and set up your private AFM toolbox instance. Technically, the AFM toolbox as a whole is a web application built upon the widely used  LAMP (WAMP) technology stack, i.e. a Linux (or Windows) operating system, an Apache webserver, a MySQL-database and PHP as the main server side programming language.

You can chose to install and access the toolbox either on “your” office PC, or on a server in your local network. In any case, the toolbox is accessed via the browser interface.

Install the AFM toolbox for Linux

Step 1: the fundamental components

Due to the strong Linux-related history of the required base components (MySQL, Apache, PHP), the set up process  is usually relatively straightforward. Tutorials (like this for the Ubuntu Linux distribution) are widespread around the internet – ask your preferred search engine.

Step 2: download & install the toolbox

The full AFM-toolbox package can be downloaded HERE. The package contains:
  • the full necessary code (PHP)
  • an example database (MySQL)
  • additional software (e.g. the optimizer core component)

Install the AFM toolbox for MICROSOFT Windows

Step 1: install the fundamental components
The required technical components (MySQL, PHP) have originally been developed for the Linux platform. Fortunately, there is an easy way install a complete “WAMP”-stack  on a Windows PC using XAMPP. XAMPP is a collection of web server technologies (including Apache, MySQL, PHP) together with a graphical installer and an easy-to-use graphical control panel for the server processes.
Step 2: download & install the toolbox
The full AFM-toolbox package can be downloaded HERE. The package contains:
  • the full necessary code (PHP)
  • an example database (MySQL)
  • additional software (e.g. the optimizer core component)

The DataClient

The DataClient is a client software component (Windows/Linux/Mac) that handles the conversion of arbitrary data (from forest simulations) to the internal format of the MOTIVE DataBase. See the MOTIVE Client wiki for details.

Setup of meta data

In addition to the pure simulation result data (i.e., time series of important state and flow variables), the data format expects the specification of meta data, such as a classification of site and stand conditions, some basic climatic information and so on. The details can be found in the wiki.

Simulations with forest models

The base data for the analysis with the ToolBox consists of “classical” output from forest simulation models. You can use models such as LandClim, PICUS, FinnFor, etc.

Use the client to transfer data to the data base

For some of these models scripts for the transferring the data to the MOTIVE format (using the MOTIVE Client) are available. First, the native outputs of the forest models are converted to the internal MOTIVE format and stored in a local data base of the client. In a second step, this data is then uploaded to the (MySQL) data base server.

Use the tools

The final step is to use the tools of the AFM ToolBox. Depending on the tool, some additional (tool specific) setup may be required; for instance, the vulnerability tool requires a intermediate calculation step which can be executed by ToolBox administrators.