Environmental issues, especially global warming is always discussed and concerned by the public, but actually not all of us are familiar the forest distribution and current status, which are actually very important to the climate changes and our daily lives. Here we just found an interactive world map, Global Forest Change, which is created by researchers at the University of Maryland for displaying changes in global forests between 2000 and 2012.
According to the map, 2.3 million square kilometres of the Earth’s forest was lost between 2000 and 2012 while 800,000 square kilometres is growing. Indonesia’s deforestation rate doubled from 10,000 square kilometres per year to more than 20,0000 during this time, which reminds us the Indonesia Forest Fire earlier this year.
Trees are defined as all vegetation taller than 5m in height and are expressed as a percentage per output grid cell as ‘2000 Percent Tree Cover’.
‘Forest Loss’ is defined as a stand-replacement disturbance, or a change from a forest to non-forest state.
‘Forest Gain’ is defined as the inverse of loss, or a non-forest to forest change entirely within the study period.
‘Forest Loss Year’ is a disaggregation of total ‘Forest Loss’ to annual time scales.
There are 3 dropdown boxes for filtering use that you can see results according to data products, background imagery, and example locations. You can also search location using the search box on the top left corner.
The research team was helped in its analysis by Google Earth team on crunching the numbers in its cloud computing facilities. Actually, Google Earth Engine is going to launch a comparison program, which shows yearly forest position of the area, next year. This program will be added to engine for determining green areas that are increasing and decreasing.
Map Reviews: 3.5/5 Stars
It is a comprehensive choropleth world map for presenting research results between 2010-2012, however, not much details have been provided. Popup information box or inserted external links to those example areas can enrich the map content.
Map Legend can be created for annotating various colors on the map for users’ better understanding without guessing or searching information form the paragraph.
Last but not the least, we appreciate the user-friendly “Reset to default view” button, which allows users to rest the filtering and restart a new search in just a click.