See the complete article: Publicly available global environmental layers

  • Edited by: T. Hengl

FAO periodically (every 5 years) organizes the so called Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) — an international compilation of forest resource assessment (forest maps, heatlh and vitality status, forest functions and policies connected with forest management). This assessment typically results in a comprehensive report that includes both graphical and tabular data (see e.g. report). Global maps (projected in the Goode Homolosine Interrupted projection) for year 2000 (FRA2000) can be obtained from the USGS website. The most recent FRA2005 and FRA2010 can be ordered on a CD (not for public distribution).

International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (lead by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, Chiba University and collaborating organizations) has produced a global map of percent tree cover using the MODIS data for year 2003 at resolution of 30 arcseconds.

There are two additional important global forest/wildlife datasets: (1) The world map of intact forest landscapes (hardly touched by mankind) at scale 1:1,000,000 (includes four classes of intact forests: 1. intact closed forests; 2. intact open forests, 3. woodlands and savannas, closed forests; and 4. open forests, woodlands and savannas) — maintained by the Greenpeace (2006) organization (Potapov, et al. 2008), and (2) World Wilderness Areas at scale 1:1,000,000 — distributed via the UNEP GEO Data Portal (McClosey, and Spalding, 1998).

The world map of intact forest landscapes.