Principal Investigator:

CO Investigators:

Norwegian Climate and Forests Initiative

Time period:


Graduate Researchers:

Project Description:

This project is focused on developing global tree cover change data products based on Landsat satellite imagery, which will be available for display and download on the Global Forest Watch 2.0 (GFW 2.0) web platform. There are three main components of this project: (1) Produce a Landsat-based global, annualized tree cover change product at 30 meter resolution for the years 2000 through 2012 (complete). Once completed, work with WRI and its partners and contractors to incorporate and launch the dataset on the GFW 2.0 website (launched on February 20, 2014) concurrent with publication by Dr. Hansen in a scientific journal (published in Science on November 15, 2013). (2) Produce annual updates of the above dataset for the years 2013 (published), 2014 (published), and 2015 (to be created and published in 2016) and publish on the GFW 2.0 website. (3) Commence work to develop, refine, and test an “as-it-happens” deforestation alarm system based on Landsat 7 and/or 8 imagery.  The alert system will process Landsat imagery at 30 meter resolution as it becomes available on a rolling basis, identifying and displaying on a map tree cover change in near-real-time. UMD will begin by creating and piloting the alarm system for a set of countries or forest regions (e.g., remaining intact tropical forests) and will include some formal validation (e.g., RapidEye tasking and characterization) for accuracy.  Once the pilot system becomes available in a stable form, UMD will work with WRI and its partners and contractors to make the system and its resulting data displayed on the GFW 2.0 website and explore with WRI potential applications for the system on GFW 2.0.

GFW 2.0. website:

Related Publications: