Supporting data-led environmental journalism.
Data helps us understand where, how and why changes to the planet’s natural environment are happening. Journalism gathers the evidence, makes sense of the facts and spreads the story. The combination of data and journalism can be a powerful lever for change — and we’re partnering with Mongabay to scale up awareness, transparency and accountability of environmental threats and human rights violations.
Since it began in 2020, our partnership has led to new data journalism tools, custom-made visualisations, and an interactive reforestation project directory. We’ve helped visualise the expansion of ports along the Amazon’s rivers and deforestation that threatens Madagascar’s biodiversity. Our aim is to make it easier for journalists to use data and satellite imagery in their vital reporting.
We used Blender to create 3D animations of a national park threatened by deforestation in Madagascar.
Before our partnership began, Mongabay's journalists used various tools to prepare satellite images for publication. Their experience in pre-processing and annotating satellite imagery varied, leading to inconsistencies and missed opportunities to show what’s happening. We developed an easy-to-use tool to overcome these issues. Drawing satellite images from Planet and data from the World Resources Institute , the tool makes it easy to customise and export publication-ready maps. Journalists have used it hundreds of times, including in Mongabay’s award-winning Forest Trackers series. Both the tool and code are open-source and available to use.
Mongabay's investigative journalism uncovers links between environmental destruction and supply chains, especially in the agribusiness sector. To help journalists create simple visualisations of global trading networks, we built an easy-to-use tool that exports ready-to-publish images. Journalists can annotate these Trase-inspired maps with additional information such as soy deforestation risk or CO2 emissions risk. The tool and code are also open-source and available for use.
What should you look for when choosing a reforestation project to support? We think it should be transparency. In 2021, Mongabay published research on the public availability of information on 36 criteria that determine reforestation success. We partnered with Mongabay to design and develop an application that helps people navigate the complexity of selecting which projects to support.
Data journalism tools in use.