What is MapBiomas?

  • What is MapBiomas?
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    We are a network of NGOs, Research Institutions and Tech Startup that produce and promote the use of qualified information to stewardship the land use and land cover in South America and other tropical and subtropical regions. 

    As a network, we are committed to generate data, methods, tools and information to qualify the understanding, analysis and decision-making on conservation and sustainable management of continental natural resources.

  • What is Mapbiomas Chaco?
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    MapBiomas Chaco is an initiative that emerged as a continuation of the initiative in Brazil that involves a collaborative network of specialists from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, in topics such as land use, satellite remote sensing, GIS and programming. It uses cloud processing and automated classifiers developed and operated from the Google Earth Engine platform to generate a historical series of annual maps of land use and cover in the Gran Chaco Americano.

  • Who produces MapBiomas Chaco maps?
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    MapBiomas Chaco involves researchers and specialists in remote sensing, GIS, informatics, biomes and land uses in each of the participating countries (Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia). The team from Argentina is coordinated by INTA, the team from Paraguay through GUYRA and the team from Bolivia by FAN. The teams work in coordination by processing the information in the cloud through the Google Earth Engine platform.

  • How can I download maps from MapBiomas Chaco?
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    The maps can be downloaded directly on the platform through the link: Collection Maps

    Do not forget to download the codes of the legend in: [ Download ]

    It is also possible to download the data directly from Google Earth Engine when specific territorial or temporary breaks are needed.

    In Google Earth Engine it is possible to access to all Landsat Mosaic data and transition maps. To obtain the IDs of the MapBiomas Chaco collections in Google Earth Engine, access: [ Assets ]

  • Why are maps shown only in raster format?
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    Land use and land cover maps made on the MapBiomas scale (30m pixel) and large time series are impractical in vector format. All data processing is performed in raster format, pixel by pixel.

  • Can I download the data in Shapefile format?
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    It is not possible in the MapBiomas platform. The vectorization of maps is extremely costly and impractical for the whole territory. The recommended solution, if you want to work with vector, is to download the data, perform the territorial or spatial clipping of your interest and then vectorize using your favorite software.

  • Are MapBiomas Chaco data public?
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    Yes, MapBiomas Chaco data is public and free for non-commercial use or general interest purposes.

  • Is it possible to work with MapBiomas Chaco data in the cloud without having to download them?
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    Yes, the MapBiomas Chaco collections are available as assets on the Google Earth Engine platform and can be accessed, processed and analyzed, directly on the platform without the need to download the data. To obtain the IDs of the MapBiomas Chaco collections in the Google Earth Engine, go to: LINK

  • How do I cite the MapBiomas Chaco data?
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    MapBiomas Chaco data is public and free of charge by merely referring to the source in the following format:

    "MapBiomas Chaco Project - Collection [version] of the annual land use and land cover maps, accessed on [date] through the link: [LINK]".

    "The MapBiomas project - is a multi-institutional initiative to generate annual land use land cover maps based on automatic classification processes applied to satellite images. The complete description of the project can be found at https://chaco.mapbiomas.org/en/project "

  • How do I access MapBiomas Chaco data in Google Earth Engine?
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    You must have a Google Earth Engine (GEE) account, which can be registered through the following link: https://earthengine.google.com

    By accessing the GEE Code Editor (https://code.earthengine.google.com) you can start scripts to view and process data. In the link bellow, you will find examples of scripts to access the MapBiomas Chaco data in Google Earth Engine. LINK

  • Where do I find the detailed description of the legend and the meaning of each caption code?
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    The detailed description of the legend is available for download at: https://chaco.mapbiomas.org/codigos-de-la-leyenda-1

  • Can I download tabular and statistical data of the land use land cover maps? To which territorial subsets?
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    Yes, land use land cover statistics, as well as transitional matrices for the biomes (the whole chaco and argentinian yungas) countries, states, and departments are available for download at: https://chaco.mapbiomas.org/en/estadisticas-2

  • How to download maps from a province/department or district/department/municipality?
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    Inside the MapBiomas Chaco platform, the maps are available and ready to use clipped by Biomes. For political level 1 (province/department) and political level 2 (districts/departments/municipalities) subsets, can be generated in Google Earth Engine, by accessing the script available at link. You must select the political level and years of interest and export them to your Google Drive folder.

  • How is the area of MapBiomas Chaco raster data calculated?
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    Landsat has an average resolution of 30m, so it is common to associate the area of ​​a pixel to 900 m2. But, since the original MapBiomas Chaco data is created following the GEE standard representation (Lat/Long and WGS84), it does not use a native equal-area projection. Thus, the distance from the target to the Equator Line influences the pixel size. Therefore, in the continental scale of Brazil area calculation counting the pixels and multiplying by 900 m2 should be avoided.
    In MapBiomas Chaco the calculation is performed within Google Earth Engine we apply the function ee.Image.pixelArea() that generates an image in which the value of each pixel is the area of that pixel in square meters, taking into consideration eventual cartographic distortions.

  • Which maps were used as a reference for the mapping?
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    You can access the description of all the reference maps used by MapBiomas Chaco in: LINK