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01.04.2022 - 31.12.2024
Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology

What do you find fascinating in forests? Are you a keen geocacher? Join us and contribute to new research by playing the world’s largest treasure hunt game!

The UNITE Geotrail research project of the University of Eastern Finland collects information on people’s forest experiences and preferences and tests a method for collecting research data based on mobile technology and gameplay using geocaches. Watch our video!

The project has established four geocaching trails in Eastern and Western Finland. In North Carelia, the trails circulate at Lehmonharju in Kontiolahti and at Ruunaa National Hiking Area in Lieksa. In Pirkanmaa, two trails have been opened near Tampere, in Hervanta, and in Seitseminen National Park, in Ylöjärvi and Ikaalinen municipalities.

In the study, we explore how people perceive their human-forest relationship in different types of forest environments. With each geocache, it is possible to answer research questions about the surrounding environment and gameplay in Finnish or in English. Participating in the study is completely voluntary, as it is possible to find the caches without participating, although all submitted answers are valuable.

The UNITE Geotrail research project is part of the Academy of Finland’s UNITE flagship which is exploring the interaction between forests, people, and machines. The project is coordinated by the Department of Forest Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland, and it also involves researchers from Gamification Group which is affiliated with the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences at Tampere University.

The research project has been carried out in close cooperation with the Geocaching Association of Finland Geonautit ry, a member of the Finnish Outdoor Association Suomen Latu. The trails have been planned together with the landowners.

As the trails circulate in nature, it is important for people to act responsibly, and not disturb the environment and nature while playing. Please follow Outdoor Etiquette.



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