The World Resources Institute’s Global Forest Watch runs a mapping application that monitors forest cover across the globe. I have been looking at the Chesapeake Bay region and using the different tools to examine tree cover in the region, and loss and gain of tree cover from 2000-2013.
I expected there to be more loss of tree cover, believing there to be a rise in development around the Chesapeake Bay over the last decade. The data comes from the University of Maryland, which defines tree cover loss as “the complete removal of tree cover canopy at the Landsat pixel scale.” The application looks at major changes, such as the loss of tree cover though disease, fire, or timber harvesting. I’m not sure, but the map may not be picking up on smaller scale activities, such as home building.
Overall there seems to be a lot of simultaneous gain and loss, on the Virginia side of the Chesapeake, and more gain over the last thirteen years on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
If a user wants to look at a specific area more closely, he or she can examine forest use and conservation. Users are also able to submit their own stories and data to document change in a particular region. I’ve posted the link below:
Global Forest Watch