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Posts Tagged ‘WRI’

Accessing data with the WRI Open Data Portal

April 1, 2019 1 comment

The good folks at Blue Raster recently announced the creation of the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Open Data Portal.  As their article explains, this portal is built with the open source platform CKAN, and provides a centralized, searchable catalog of all data provided by WRI.  We have written about specific WRI resources in this blog in the past, such as here, and one of our exercises makes use of WRI data for Kenya.  WRI has long been one of my favorite organizations and I have made extensive use of their data over the past 15 years.  Before this new portal, WRI researchers would publish data to their own WRI website, but this site only contained data from only a fraction of their projects.  The advantage of the new data portal is that it provides for the first time a full catalog of WRI datasets. Internally, the portal  also provides a more streamlined process for uploading and hosting data, which benefits WRI staff and data users, alike.

I tested the WRI Open Data Portal and was impressed at its clean interface and its ability to filter by file format and region.  I was puzzled, though, because I did not find that many additional data sets beyond what I have seen on WRI in the past.  But perhaps it is because of the search terms I used.  I also could not discover how to stream in data from ArcGIS Online as the article above mentions.  Nevertheless, the portal holds great promise; I highly encourage you to try it.

wri

WRI Open Data Portal interface.

–Joseph Kerski

Global Forest Watch initiative

February 24, 2014 2 comments

The World Resources Institute (WRI) has recently announced the launch of Global Forest Watch (GFW), a dynamic forest monitoring system that provides aims to provide ‘timely and reliable’ information about the state of the world’s forests. Using a combination of satellite imagery, open access data and crowd sourced information, GFW builds on earlier projects such as the Forest Frontiers Initiative and the Forest Atlases, one of the case studies we discussed in The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data, which promoted the sustainable management of forest resources.

One of the big issues for monitoring forest reserves has been, given the often inaccessible locations, by the time harmful and illegal logging was reported it was invariably too late to stop the deforestation. GFW aims to provide near real-time information on forest clearing activities so local authorities, governments, global business and the general public have access to the latest, and hopefully most accurate, status of forest reserves. The listed data sources include:

  • Forest change ( many derived from MODIS data)
  • Forest cover
  • Conservation
  • Forest Use

The GFW web site provides access to a global map based on the University of Maryland Tree Cover Loss and Gain data.

The GFW site also provides a time-lapse run through of the last twelve years change in tree cover.

Global Forest Watch  forest change

Global Forest Watch – forest change

Although the predominance of forest cover loss (pink) as opposed to gain (blue) in many areas tells a depressingly familiar tale, providing public access to the latest information like this should help shine a light on illegal logging activities.

WRI World Water Stress and Risk Maps and Data Set

March 2, 2013 1 comment

An global but very detailed map set of world water stress and risks has recently been released by the World Resources Institute (WRI):  http://aqueduct.wri.org/atlas.

WRI Aqueduct Water Risk Data

WRI Aqueduct Water Risk Data.

The map is associated with a great deal of data in the associated “dashboard.”  This “Aqueduct” data combines 12 water risk indicators to create maps of where and how water risks may be prevalent.  An added bonus is that users can adjust the weights used in assessing risk.  The source data is available as a downloadable Esri geodatabase.  Users can also upload locations for study, and export the results to Excel.  After spending time with these data sets and maps, I found them to be easily accessible and usable both online and downloaded and used in a desktop GIS.

An article describing the map and data and the reasons behind creating them:

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1681298/an-incredibly-detailed-map-shows-the-potential-of-global-water-risks

This is an important and much-needed resource.  How might you use it in your own work?

Categories: Public Domain Data Tags: ,