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News Notes by Tom Gill



The map below has been developed at the EROS Data Center (EDC) of the United States of America. The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC) in the United Kingdom has collaborated in the map validation. The files are also available in small, medium and large format at FAO Forestry's web site:

Other Map Sites

Free Satellite Maps - Download free satellite maps at <>.
Atlas of Our Changing Environment - UNEP Publication. The Atlas, compiled on behalf of the ministers by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), underlines how development choices, population growth, climate change and, in some cases, conflicts are shaping and impacting the natural and nature-based assets of the region.

Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment features over 300 satellite images taken in every country in Africa in over 100 locations. The 'before' and 'after' photographs, some of which span a 35-year period, offer striking snapshots of local environmental transformation across the continent.

Individual satellite images, maps, graphs and photographs, can be downloaded from <>.

The Atlas can also be purchased at <>.

The digital version of the Atlas will also be released on Google Earth and other websites.
Global Land Use Database
Water Resources eAtlas - maps of land cover, population density and biodiversity for 154 basins and sub-basins around the world.
UNEP One Planet, Many People: Atlas of Our Changing Environment, originally released to celebrate World Environment Day 2005. The atlas compares and contrasts spectacular satellite images of the past few decades with contemporary ones, some of which have never been seen before. The atlas was produced in collaboration with organizations including the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  Source: <>
A LAND COVER MAP OF AFRICA - This map has been produced as part of the Global Land Cover mapping exercise and the Global Burnt Area mapping excerise, organised and led by the Joint Research Centre’s Global Vegetation Monitoring Unit, based in the Insistute for Environment and Sustainability. A global land cover map and global burnt area map has been assembled from the regional maps produced by the GVM unit and partner institutions. <>
Resource Africa - Maps and Imaging -
Environmental Surveillance from Satellites -
Interactive Forest Maps -- World Resources Institute: Frontier Forests of the World <>
Bodleian Library Map Room -- University of Oxford <>
Integrated Approaches to Participatory Development (IAPAD) - Participatory Avenues <> promotes the diffusion of Participatory 3D Modeling (P3DM) as best practice for merging peoples' knowledge and traditional spatial information. The website supports the culture of knowledge dissemination and acts as focal point for sharing information and technical progress on community-based mapping and Public Participation GIS (PPGIS). P3DM has a wide range of applications ranging from collaborative research and planning for natural resource management, to dealing with conflict resolution and resource tenure.
How to Use Freely Available GIS if You’re Not a GIS User - <>
NRDB <> is a free database and mapping application for developing and distributing environmental databases. Its aim is to provide people in developing countries with a powerful yet simple tool to assist in the managing of their own resources. The software should run on most Windows-based computers and requires only standard desktop peripherals such as a scanner and a printer. It was originally developed for the Bohol Environment Management Office, Philippines by Richard D. Alexander, through the assistance of Voluntary Service Overseas.
Online GIS Tutorials  (listing) - <>

Global Landcover 2000. The Global vegetation Monitoring Unit carries out several activities related to Land Cover mapping and monitoring.

In particular the GVM Unit is coordinating and implementing the GLOBAL LAND COVER 2000 Project (GLC 2000) in collaboration with a network of partners around the world.

The general objective is to provide a harmonized land cover database over the whole globe. The year Two Thousand is considered as a reference year for environmental assessment in relation to various activities, in particular the United Nation's Ecosystem-related International Conventions. <

Global Land Cover Facility has over 19,000 Landsat FREE Landsat scenes. In addition, a variety of new MODIS tree cover and composite products have come out. Look for MODIS fire maps and ASTER data in the near future. See
ARCBC's Landsat 7 Imagery Browser - ASEAN countries
World Reference Base for Soil Resources

Free GIS Data Viewers -  All of these major vendors have free data viewers to download from their websites allowing you to display and query maps/images/tables in their proprietary formats. See the websites of:

The Human Footprint -- Map of human influences on global resources.
Applied–GIS-RIS list. Alexandre Leroux : “After some time searching for an up-to-date RS sensor list, I mainly stumbled onto disparate and obsolete lists. I then decided to do one myself and share it with anyone who wants it. Some sites provide a good sensor list, but not in printable format nor does include important features such as links to free RS scenes download. Great thanks to Andrew Dyk from NRCan who allowed me to use his own list as a start. I took the time to clean his table, update links and info, however, it is still far away from complete. Here's the deal; help me update the table with valuable info and you and everybody's going to profit from it. There also is a pdf available so you can print your own outside your browser. Why this table:

* It is updated regularly. The huge AGISRS member base should allow us to keep it up to date.

* It includes most sensors for OE, not only those from one organisation.

* It provides pertinent links, such as archive searches and free data access.

* A print-friendly version of the table is available. The table is published using the GNU Free Documentation License, to ensure free distribution.

Take a look at, the actual version is preliminary and quite incomplete... Please send updates to <>.”

Geo e-Links Africa--map portal to sustainable development experiences.
Global Landcover Facility - University of Maryland, USA.
NASA Landsat Pathfinder. Humid Tropical Deforestation Project. Department of Geography. University of Maryland, USA <>
Landsat Images can be found at <>.

Checklist of Online Vegetation and Plant Distribution Maps. Compiled by Claire Englander and Philip Hoehn. <>.

The GEO Data Portal is the authoritative source for data sets used by UNEP and its partners in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report and other integrated environment assessments. Its online database holds more than 400 different variables, as national, subregional, regional and global statistics or as geospatial data sets (maps), covering themes like Freshwater, Population, Forests, Emissions, Climate, Disasters, Health and GDP. Display them on-the-fly as maps, graphs, data tables or download the data in different formats.
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency  <>.
Natural Resources Database - Free spatial database / mapping software - <>.
Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection Country and Regional Map
: <>.
Interactive Forestry Atlas <>
Geomatics: includes the tools and techniques used in land surveying, remote sensing, cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, COMPASS), photogrammetry, and related forms of earth mapping. The page published at <> has a list of links to other sites that include information about geomatics, cartography, GIS and remote sensing.

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News Notes by Tom Gill

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This page updated: 07 April 2010