Developed to encourage the sustainable use of the world's timber species,
Prospect is the definitive database for all who research and use wood.


Prospect Home Page

What is Prospect?

Prospect is a computer database designed to provide information on timber species from all areas of the world.

Developed at the Oxford Forestry Institute over many years, the system records data for over 1550 species, 92 timber properties and 175 end-uses from over 1800 literature based references. More than 28,000 common and trade names are included to aid species identification. This final version has over 1100 scanned wood surface images.

How does Prospect work?

Prospect has a simple interface providing extensive facilities to customise searches and evaluations by way of toolbars, check boxes and pull down menus. On-line context-sensitive help is provided and search results can be output to a text file for further analysis.

What does Prospect do?

Prospect provides an adaptable and accurate system to assess species potential when, for example a product or end-use is being considered. Conversely a species can be evaluated to determine which products or end-uses it is most suited to provide. Also the comparison of species by their properties and wood surface image can be undertaken with accuracy and ease, thus enabling the assessment of possible alternative species. The published sources of data used for these assessments are available 'on screen', thus ensuring complete transparency - essential when dealing with a natural material where the variation within can be as great as that between species.

Latest News

As a consequence of major changes in structures and financing within the University, and following the retirement of the Institute's director, Professor Jeff Burley, the Oxford Forestry Institute has been fully incorporated into the Department of Plant Sciences. Due to subsequent funding restrictions we have unfortunately been unable to update the Prospect database or program within our Institute as hoped.

We are no longer developing the software and all staff involved with the project have now retired. We are therefore unable to supply technical support or answer queries.

We are now however providing the full database as a free download. We provide no guarantee that it will run on the latest operating systems, so use it at your own risk! Please see our download pages for more details.

All data from Prospect is to be used to enlarge and enhance another database produced by CAB International. We have had strong connections with CAB International (http://www.cabi.org) for many years and we will be helping to provide additional timber property information for their new Integrated Forestry Compendium (http://www.cabicompendium.org/fc). CABI have a dedicated team of programmers and data collation experts and the combined database will be available on CD-ROM and on the web. On CABI's website you can download a detailed self-running Guided Tour or view a PowerPoint demonstration of the existing Forestry Compendium.


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Last updated 23-Sept-2010

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