volume: 43, issue:
Cable-based technologies have been the backbone of forest management and harvesting on steep slopes for decades. The design of a cable road is a complex task. It essentially comprises the identification of the start and end points of a cable road, as well as the intermediate supports. With the aim of simplifying this design process, we developed a semi-automated cable road design tool (QGIS plugin SEILAPLAN) that is easy and intuitive to use. SEILAPLAN is based on mechanical assumptions for the structural analysis that are »close-to-reality«, contains an algorithm that checks all possible intermediate support combinations and automatically identifies the optimal solution, and integrates tools and geodata within a GIS application. We present its main components and present an example of application. The integration into a GIS program, the implemented cable mechanics, and the associated information for the construction of a cable road were highly appreciated by the users.