February 20, 2014
Redlands, California—Data from Global Forest Watch, an online forest monitoring and alert system is now available on Esri's ArcGIS Online GIS cloud service. By using a portal on Esri's platform to access GFW Global Forest Watch satellite data and crowd-sourced information, people can add powerful maps, datasets, and applications to their forest projects and better analyze indicators of forest change.
Global Forest Watch, a partnership of more than 40 organizations led by the World Resources Institute, uses GIS maps and data to promote sustainable forest management and policy. Esri, the world leader in GIS, strongly supports the GFW mission to empower people everywhere to better manage forests.
"Thanks to dramatic advances in technology, we can, for the first time, see what is happening in forests in near real-time," Dr. Nigel Sizer, director of the global forest initiative World Resources Institute said. "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 of not only where but why and how."
On February 20, World Resources Institute launched the Global Forest Watch website. In tandem with the launch, Global Forest Watch data went live on ArcGIS Online, extending the GIS cloud platform to Global Forest Watch data users. People can use the service to track deforestation throughout the world.
“Monitoring forest health and designing sustainable solutions is a challenging task, but an essential one,” Esri president Jack Dangermond said. “The Global Forest Watch initiative demonstrates the capacity of open data, shared systems, and platform technologies to bring many experts together to design solutions for a universal problem.”
To promote transparency in forests around the world, Global Forest Watch 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. Within ArcGIS Online, users can now access Global Forest Watch data and add it to a basemap. They can also draw from Esri's massive data collection, such as Landsat, to get a more comprehensive perspective about complex problems. In addition, they have access to Esri's premium content as well as content added to the service by users every day.
Esri, along with more than 40 organizations, participated in creating the strategic vision and implementation of Global Forest Watch's online tool at globalforestwatch.org. Esri's application extends the analytical capabilities of this data. The Global Forest Watch platform is intended for use by stakeholders in the world's forests, including concerned citizens, government leaders, buyers, and suppliers of sustainable forest products who seek to better manage forests and improve local livelihoods.