Thursday, February 20, 2014

Deforestation can be monitored online with new Global Forest Watch system…

Data from Global Forest Watch, an online forest monitoring system is now available on Esri’s ArcGIS cloud service. By using an Esri portal to access GFW satellite data and crowd-sourced information, people can add maps, datasets, and applications to their forest projects and analyze indicators of forest change.

A partnership of more than 40 organizations led by the World Resources Institute, GFW uses GIS maps and data to promote sustainable forest management and policy.

“Thanks to dramatic advances in technology, we can see what is happening in forests in near real-time,” said WRI’s Nigel Sizer. “GIS helps us take very powerful data and make sense of it. The analytical capabilities of GIS enrich our understanding of the earth’s forests.”

WRI launched the GFW website today. People can use the service to track deforestation throughout the world. “Monitoring forest health and designing sustainable solutions is a challenging task,” said Esri president Jack Dangermond. “The Global Forest Watch initiative demonstrates the capacity of open data, shared systems, and platform technologies to bring experts together to design solutions.”

To promote transparency in forests around the world, GFW combines near real-time satellite monitoring technology, forest management and company concession maps, protected-area maps, mobile technology, crowd-sourced data, and on-the-ground networks.

The GFW platform is intended for use by stakeholders including concerned citizens, government leaders, buyers, and suppliers of sustainable forest products who seek to better manage forests.

Update: Here's an article I wrote about what the Global Forest Watch website shows for Armenia (click here).