Global Forest Watch.

Pixel perfection for forest detection.

Uniting sophisticated monitoring and analysis with cutting-edge visualization software, Global Forest Watch revolutionizes our ability to track what’s happening in our forests right now.

Empowering real-time tracking and analysis of our forests.

Global Forest Watch.

Unveiling illegal deforestation.

In 2016, Global Forest Watch was used to expose United Cocoa’s illegal deforestation of primary tropical forests in Peru. Mongabay used images of the Global Forest Watch map to report the deforestation, setting in motion a series of events that led to the company ceasing its operations.

72.5 Mha primary forest lost.

Twice Germany's size of humid region forests lost since 2001, leaving just 26% as primary tree cover.

Nature's solution to crises.

Forests house 80% of land biodiversity and offer 30% of the solution to limit global warming under 2°C.

4 million users.

From the general public to conservation organizations, policymakers, journalists and companies.

Developing GFW.

The brief.

In 1997, WRI and the rest of our partners embarked on a mission to create a new way to visualize global forest data. Never before has anyone put together such a vast amount of data about different aspects of forests with a long-term vision of action-oriented functionalities, proving an immense design and engineering challenge. We were brought in to help tackle this challenge. Together we launched the first platform in 2014.

Our role.

Using the hundreds of datasets provided by the partnership, we designed, developed and refined Global Forest Watch into a sophisticated, responsive web-mapping application that puts near real-time data at your fingertips. Our mixture of modern design principles, deep understanding of user needs and coding at the edge of APIs helped deliver an award-winning user experience.

Each part of the site has undergone rounds of iteration to respond to feedback from users and partners. Continuously balancing the ability to explore the extent of the data while bringing the most important insights to the user as soon as possible.

Delivered with impact.

More than
deforestation data.

With the Global Land Analysis and Discovery alerts, GFW releases fresh data weekly about how forests have changed. At a scale of just 30x30m (half the size of a football pitch), we can detect precise changes that inform stakeholders to take action.

By encoding multiple years of data into single map tiles, changes over time can be animated much more quickly without the need to download the data for each transition; this significantly boosts performance.

A project with a long-term vision. 

  • To end deforestation and positively impact nature, GFW pulls together numerous indicators: forest change, land cover, biodiversity, climate impacts and land use and how humans interact with it
  • To offer detailed insights specific to user needs, GFW enables users to set alert and areas of interest functions. This ensures timely and locally relevant information is delivered straight to people
  • After many years of continuous development, iterative enhancements, feedback integration, and expansion, GFW has established itself as a world-class platform widely recognized for its significant contributions to advancing global understanding of forest and land monitoring.


Cloud-based spatial planning.

Want to make a difference together?

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