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.
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.
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.
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.
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.