Online mapping tool tracks land-use changes down to the farm

Online mapping tool tracks land-use changes down to the farm

Online mapping platform MapHubs has recently launched a new service, MapHubs Forest, which combines automated forest change visualization and alerts with tools for making maps online, analyzing spatial data, producing reports and storing information in a secure online portal. The “hubs” of MapHubs are mini websites, or portals, that a company or other user group purchases for a project or specific topic, such as monitoring a national park in Côte d’Ivoire or land-use change around a set of oil palm concessions in Liberia. The group can use its portal, basically a customizable online space on the MapHubs platform, to upload, store and access information; create projects; assemble data; and produce data reports and maps. West African forest in Ghana’s Kakum National Park. Image by George Powell The new forest reporting service allows the group to access forest change data and automated weekly GLAD alerts of tree cover loss, generated by the University of Maryland, directly from its portal and in combination with other spatial data sets. Companies or property owners can monitor tree cover at a scale of an individual farm, plantation, or project, and produce interactive maps of forest status. This capacity would also help watchdogs, commodity traders, and investors verify that a company’s local suppliers are meeting international obligations, MapHubs founder and CEO Leo Bottrill told Mongabay-Wildtech. “If companies are going to make good on their zero deforestation commitments,” Bottrill said, “they’re going to have to map and monitor at the farm level. If they don’t get to grips with…

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