eoPortal News: Did you know?
Global TanDEM-X forest map is available
06 May 2019
Forests are Earth's lungs; they help to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and thus counteract global warming, while also providing protection and resources for humans, animals and plants – and they are being lost at an alarming rate.
As the view from space reveals, forests cover about one third of Earth's land mass today. More than half of the world's forests, which have fallen victim to deforestation since the middle of the 20th century in particular, have already been lost.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has created a special dataset to monitor, assess, and protect the current state and development of this green organ with precision – the global TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest Map. Interferometric data acquired by the German TanDEM-X radar satellite mission for the creation of a global elevation model were used for this purpose; algorithms from the field of Artificial Intelligence were developed for global data processing. These have been optimised for different types of forests based on tree height, density, and structure. This has resulted in a global map that shows the extent of forested areas at a resolution of 50 metres. DLR's global TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest Map is now available free of charge to scientific users.
Image credit: DLR - Global TanDEM-X forest map