Lawless Loggers by Australian Broadcasting Corporation

We revealed and illustrated widespread and systemic illegal logging by the Victorian government logging agency, VicForests, as well as the alleged complicity of its regulator, the Office of the Conservation Regulator.

At the heart of the journalism was high-resolution digital elevation data, obtained by the ABC. Using this we created a 3D model of the terrain, which allowed us to guide our audience through the most egregious examples of potential illegal logging on steep slopes.

The project merged geospatial data, 3D modelling software and javascript animation libraries to not only present the data but to investigate the story as well. It complemented data and documents obtained under Freedom of Information requests as well as leaked reports and in-depth investigations.

Our investigation led the Victorian state government to announce it would enforce tougher regulation of VicForests and implement greater oversight by the regulator. The accusations revealed in the story were also referred to the state’s corruption watchdog.