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SEPAL, a big-data platform for forest and land monitoring

Powering innovation and application in the use of satellite imagery for natural resource management










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    Book (series)
    Evaluation of the project "System for Earth Observation Data Access, Processing and Analysis for Land Monitoring" (SEPAL)
    Project code: GCP/GLO/537/NOR
    2022
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    The System for Earth Observation Data Access, Processing and Analysis for Land Monitoring (SEPAL) is a cloud-based computing platform for fast access and processing of remotely sensed data sources. It is designed to assist national forest monitoring and reporting for the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Forest Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forests and Enhancement of Carbon Stocks in Developing Countries (REDD+) mechanism. The terminal evaluation of the project found SEPAL to have been largely successful and relevant in achieving its aims. The evaluation recommended certain improvements, notably a “plan B” option to mitigate SEPAL’s dependency on Google Earth Engine, and assurance of continued relevance in Phase II of SEPAL.
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    Article
    Earth Map: A Novel Tool for Fast Performance of Advanced Land Monitoring and Climate Assessment 2023
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    Earth Map (https://earthmap.org/) is an innovative and free application developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that was designed in the framework of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations–Google partnership and facilitates the visualization, processing, and analysis of land and climate data. Earth Map makes petabytes of multitemporal, multiscale, multiparametric, and quasi-real-time satellite imagery and geospatial datasets available to any user thanks to the power of Google Earth Engine (https://earthengine.google.com/) and a point-and-click graphical user interface. These are further complemented with more planetary-scale analytical capabilities so that global and local changes and trends on Earth’s surface can be easily detected, quantified, and visualized. It does not require users to master coding techniques, thereby avoiding bottlenecks in terms of technical capacities of nonexpert users. It ultimately paves the way for countries, research institutes, farmers, and members of the general public to access critical knowledge to develop science-based policy interventions, leverage investments, and sustain livelihoods. We provide a full overview of Earth Map’s software architecture, design, features, and datasets. To illustrate the possible applications of the tool, different examples are presented including a few case studies that show how quick historical analysis of environmental and climate parameters can be performed and research questions answered. The examples demonstrate that Earth Map is a comprehensive and user-friendly tool for land monitoring and climate assessment and that it has the potential to be used to assess land use, land use change, climate change impacts, and natural disasters.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Open FORIS and SEPAL (System for earth observation data access, processing and analysis for land monitoring)
    FAO digital service portfolio
    2018
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    On the occasion of the conference "Youth employment in agriculture as a solid solution to ending hunger and poverty in Africa" (Kigali, Rwanda, 20−21 August 2018), FAO will showcase a digital service portfolio, consisting of 10 innovation projects. This flyer presents Innovative open-source software to help countries measure, monitor and report on forests and land use, offering unparalleled access to granular satellite data and computing power and paving the way for improved climate change mitigation plans and better informed land-use policies.

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