Biodiversity / Food / Water

March 13, 2008


New Global Map Shows State of the Environment in Eight Layers

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Government University / Research institute 

From November 20 to December 31, 2007, Japan's Geographic Survey Institute (GSI) exhibited a draft version of its Global Map to the public, which was created to precisely show the current status of the global environment. The map is composed of digital geographic datasets of the whole globe, excluding Antarctica. The exhibited map measures 5 by 10 meters at a scale of 1:4,000,000.

One of the eight layers of the map is the Percent Tree Cover data, which shows the percentage of vegetation areas. The data comes from a satellite observing the globe at a one-kilometer resolution that shows the ratio of trees to the Earth's surface.

With regularly updated data, it is possible to identify changes in forests and to estimate the amount of carbon dioxide absorption, believed to be a major factor mitigating global warming. The data is useful for analysis and clarification of environmental and climate changes, global water conditions such as desertification, changes in water resources, as well as for purposes of environmental education.

The Global Map is being developed by the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM), whose office is in the GSI, in collaboration with national mapping organizations in participating countries. The ISCGM will release the data covering the entire land surface of the planet in April 2008 as the first edition of the Global Map, with a plan to update it every five years.

Posted: 2008/03/13 10:33:38 AM