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Global Forest Watch Help Center

https://www.globalforestwatch.org/help

Select and customize the basemap

One of GFW’s most important tools for monitoring an area and communicating where deforestation has likely occurred is the customizable basemap. GFW offers a range of basemaps to help visualize and investigate areas of interest on the map.

Customize the map view

  1. The different basemaps can be accessed by navigating to the bottom right of the map and clicking the map settings “Default” icon. The basemap is set to the “Default” basemap when you first access the map.
Click on the map settings “Default” icon to access the basemaps.
  1. There are several options for customizing the map.
    1. Boundaries: You can adjust the boundary view of the map by clicking the boundaries icon, which offers four different settings. By default, the map is populated with defined political boundaries for countries and regions. You can change the map view to show no boundaries, terrestrial ecoregions or river basins.
    2. Show labels: The show labels feature allows you to add or remove text labels to the map. By default, “Show labels” is selected when first accessing the map.
    3. Show roads: The show roads feature allows you to show or remove roads on the map when zoomed in. By default, “Hide Roads” is selected when first accessing the map.
    4. Map styles: GFW offers several different basemap imagery options that can enhance your forest monitoring capacity, these include: Default, Dark Matter, Google Satellite and Landsat. More information on these is in the “Available basemaps” section below.
Customize boundaries on the map by clicking the boundaries icon. “Political boundaries” is selected by default.
Select “No boundaries” to remove all boundaries on the map.
Select “Terrestrial ecoregions” to show land ecoregions based on the RESOLVE ecoregions data.
Select “River basins” to show global river basins based on MapBox data.
Customize labels on the map by clicking the labels icon. “Show labels” is selected by default.
Select “Hide labels” to remove all labels on the map.
Customize roads on the map by clicking the roads icon. “Hide Roads” is selected by default.
Select “Show Roads” to show roads when zoomed in on the map.

Available basemaps

  • Default: The “Default” World Topographic Map is a combination of Mapbox, OpenStreetMap, USGS, Landsat, Natural Earth and Open Addresses imagery. This basemap is the default when first accessing the map.
The “Default” World Topographic Map is useful for clearly visualizing data on the map.
  • Dark Matter: The “Dark Matter” basemap is provided by Carto and provides a clean interface for viewing data. It can simplify the map view, helping to identity important areas of interest on the map.
The “Dark Matter” basemap has a clean and simplified look for examining data on the map.
  • Google Satellite: The “Satellite” basemap is sourced from Google satellite imagery. It is helpful for providing contextual information about an area, as it includes geographic names and markers sourced from Google. Because the imagery is a mosaic of satellite images from different time periods, it is not useful for investigating alerts in near real-time but can be valuable for helping to orient yourself or others on the map.
The Google “Satellite” basemap provides a high-resolution view of the Earth’s surface.
  • Landsat: The “Landsat” basemap provides historical high-resolution imagery and is available for the years 2013–2017. The historical imagery provided by Landsat is useful for examining the details of how an area has changed over time. You can select a specific year’s imagery by clicking the drop-down menu below the Landsat icon. 2017 is the default year when activating this basemap.
The “Landsat” basemap provides historical high-resolution imagery from 2013–2017.
  • Planet: The “Planet” basemap provides high-resolution satellite imagery and is sourced from Planet Labs, Inc. The 5-meter resolution mosaics are updated monthly starting September 2020 and are available for the tropics. Six-month mosaics are also available for past years. Because of its frequent updates and high-resolution imagery, the Planet basemap is useful for investigating an area and analyzing loss patterns in the imagery. You can select imagery from a specific time period by clicking the applicable drop-down menu below the Planet icon. The latest imagery is the default when activating this basemap. Learn more about how to investigate forest change with satellite imagery here. Thanks to Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), the Planet mosaics are also available to those working to stop deforestation and combat climate change. Visit this webpage to register for a free account and select the mosaics you would like to download.
The “Planet” basemap provides 5-meter resolution mosaics and is updated monthly.
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Last updated November 11th 2020

Global Forest Watch Help Center

https://www.globalforestwatch.org/help

Select and customize the basemap

One of GFW’s most important tools for monitoring an area and communicating where deforestation has likely occurred is the customizable basemap. GFW offers a range of basemaps to help visualize and investigate areas of interest on the map.

Customize the map view

  1. The different basemaps can be accessed by navigating to the bottom right of the map and clicking the map settings “Default” icon. The basemap is set to the “Default” basemap when you first access the map.
Click on the map settings “Default” icon to access the basemaps.
  1. There are several options for customizing the map.
    1. Boundaries: You can adjust the boundary view of the map by clicking the boundaries icon, which offers four different settings. By default, the map is populated with defined political boundaries for countries and regions. You can change the map view to show no boundaries, terrestrial ecoregions or river basins.
    2. Show labels: The show labels feature allows you to add or remove text labels to the map. By default, “Show labels” is selected when first accessing the map.
    3. Show roads: The show roads feature allows you to show or remove roads on the map when zoomed in. By default, “Hide Roads” is selected when first accessing the map.
    4. Map styles: GFW offers several different basemap imagery options that can enhance your forest monitoring capacity, these include: Default, Dark Matter, Google Satellite and Landsat. More information on these is in the “Available basemaps” section below.
Customize boundaries on the map by clicking the boundaries icon. “Political boundaries” is selected by default.
Select “No boundaries” to remove all boundaries on the map.
Select “Terrestrial ecoregions” to show land ecoregions based on the RESOLVE ecoregions data.
Select “River basins” to show global river basins based on MapBox data.
Customize labels on the map by clicking the labels icon. “Show labels” is selected by default.
Select “Hide labels” to remove all labels on the map.
Customize roads on the map by clicking the roads icon. “Hide Roads” is selected by default.
Select “Show Roads” to show roads when zoomed in on the map.

Available basemaps

  • Default: The “Default” World Topographic Map is a combination of Mapbox, OpenStreetMap, USGS, Landsat, Natural Earth and Open Addresses imagery. This basemap is the default when first accessing the map.
The “Default” World Topographic Map is useful for clearly visualizing data on the map.
  • Dark Matter: The “Dark Matter” basemap is provided by Carto and provides a clean interface for viewing data. It can simplify the map view, helping to identity important areas of interest on the map.
The “Dark Matter” basemap has a clean and simplified look for examining data on the map.
  • Google Satellite: The “Satellite” basemap is sourced from Google satellite imagery. It is helpful for providing contextual information about an area, as it includes geographic names and markers sourced from Google. Because the imagery is a mosaic of satellite images from different time periods, it is not useful for investigating alerts in near real-time but can be valuable for helping to orient yourself or others on the map.
The Google “Satellite” basemap provides a high-resolution view of the Earth’s surface.
  • Landsat: The “Landsat” basemap provides historical high-resolution imagery and is available for the years 2013–2017. The historical imagery provided by Landsat is useful for examining the details of how an area has changed over time. You can select a specific year’s imagery by clicking the drop-down menu below the Landsat icon. 2017 is the default year when activating this basemap.
The “Landsat” basemap provides historical high-resolution imagery from 2013–2017.
  • Planet: The “Planet” basemap provides high-resolution satellite imagery and is sourced from Planet Labs, Inc. The 5-meter resolution mosaics are updated monthly starting September 2020 and are available for the tropics. Six-month mosaics are also available for past years. Because of its frequent updates and high-resolution imagery, the Planet basemap is useful for investigating an area and analyzing loss patterns in the imagery. You can select imagery from a specific time period by clicking the applicable drop-down menu below the Planet icon. The latest imagery is the default when activating this basemap. Learn more about how to investigate forest change with satellite imagery here. Thanks to Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), the Planet mosaics are also available to those working to stop deforestation and combat climate change. Visit this webpage to register for a free account and select the mosaics you would like to download.
The “Planet” basemap provides 5-meter resolution mosaics and is updated monthly.
Print this article

Select and customize the basemap

One of GFW’s most important tools for monitoring an area and communicating where deforestation has likely occurred is the customizable basemap. GFW offers a range of basemaps to help visualize and investigate areas of interest on the map.

Customize the map view

  1. The different basemaps can be accessed by navigating to the bottom right of the map and clicking the map settings “Default” icon. The basemap is set to the “Default” basemap when you first access the map.
Click on the map settings “Default” icon to access the basemaps.
  1. There are several options for customizing the map.
    1. Boundaries: You can adjust the boundary view of the map by clicking the boundaries icon, which offers four different settings. By default, the map is populated with defined political boundaries for countries and regions. You can change the map view to show no boundaries, terrestrial ecoregions or river basins.
    2. Show labels: The show labels feature allows you to add or remove text labels to the map. By default, “Show labels” is selected when first accessing the map.
    3. Show roads: The show roads feature allows you to show or remove roads on the map when zoomed in. By default, “Hide Roads” is selected when first accessing the map.
    4. Map styles: GFW offers several different basemap imagery options that can enhance your forest monitoring capacity, these include: Default, Dark Matter, Google Satellite and Landsat. More information on these is in the “Available basemaps” section below.
Customize boundaries on the map by clicking the boundaries icon. “Political boundaries” is selected by default.
Select “No boundaries” to remove all boundaries on the map.
Select “Terrestrial ecoregions” to show land ecoregions based on the RESOLVE ecoregions data.
Select “River basins” to show global river basins based on MapBox data.
Customize labels on the map by clicking the labels icon. “Show labels” is selected by default.
Select “Hide labels” to remove all labels on the map.
Customize roads on the map by clicking the roads icon. “Hide Roads” is selected by default.
Select “Show Roads” to show roads when zoomed in on the map.

Available basemaps

  • Default: The “Default” World Topographic Map is a combination of Mapbox, OpenStreetMap, USGS, Landsat, Natural Earth and Open Addresses imagery. This basemap is the default when first accessing the map.
The “Default” World Topographic Map is useful for clearly visualizing data on the map.
  • Dark Matter: The “Dark Matter” basemap is provided by Carto and provides a clean interface for viewing data. It can simplify the map view, helping to identity important areas of interest on the map.
The “Dark Matter” basemap has a clean and simplified look for examining data on the map.
  • Google Satellite: The “Satellite” basemap is sourced from Google satellite imagery. It is helpful for providing contextual information about an area, as it includes geographic names and markers sourced from Google. Because the imagery is a mosaic of satellite images from different time periods, it is not useful for investigating alerts in near real-time but can be valuable for helping to orient yourself or others on the map.
The Google “Satellite” basemap provides a high-resolution view of the Earth’s surface.
  • Landsat: The “Landsat” basemap provides historical high-resolution imagery and is available for the years 2013–2017. The historical imagery provided by Landsat is useful for examining the details of how an area has changed over time. You can select a specific year’s imagery by clicking the drop-down menu below the Landsat icon. 2017 is the default year when activating this basemap.
The “Landsat” basemap provides historical high-resolution imagery from 2013–2017.
  • Planet: The “Planet” basemap provides high-resolution satellite imagery and is sourced from Planet Labs, Inc. The 5-meter resolution mosaics are updated monthly starting September 2020 and are available for the tropics. Six-month mosaics are also available for past years. Because of its frequent updates and high-resolution imagery, the Planet basemap is useful for investigating an area and analyzing loss patterns in the imagery. You can select imagery from a specific time period by clicking the applicable drop-down menu below the Planet icon. The latest imagery is the default when activating this basemap. Learn more about how to investigate forest change with satellite imagery here. Thanks to Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), the Planet mosaics are also available to those working to stop deforestation and combat climate change. Visit this webpage to register for a free account and select the mosaics you would like to download.
The “Planet” basemap provides 5-meter resolution mosaics and is updated monthly.

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