Importing GLCF MODIS woody plant cover

The data set

The Global Land Cover Facility offers, amongst many other data sets, the MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields data set for download. These are layers that contain proportional estimates for vegetative cover types (woody vegetation, herbaceous vegetation, and bare ground). As such they are very suitable depict areas of heterogeneous land cover.

Their MODIS products differ from DAAC editions by coming in GeoTIFF format, geographic coordinates, WGS84 datum, and a tiling system designed to fit well with Landsat imagery. Currently the collection 5 is available, which contains proportional estimates for woody cover vegetation for the years 2000 to 2010. It can be downloaded as tiles (195 in total) via a ftp server.

Below I’ll provide an example Continue reading

Nice example of the use of geo-spatial tools in conservation and restoration planning

If you are interested in the use of GIS / spatial tools in the development and implementation of a management plan of conservation areas, have a look at Robert (GeoBob) Ford’s blog. It gives background information and ideas concerning the development of a GIS-based General Management Plan (GMP) for two national parks (Kundelungu and Upemba) in Congo. It is well written and clearly based on a lot of expertise. And for the visually inclined, there are a lot of very nice pictures too.


Major conservation biology textbook now free online

Conservation Biology for All, a book edited by Navjot S. Sodhi of the National University of Singapore and Paul R. Ehrlich of Stanford University, has been posted on, an environmental science and conservation news site. Go here to download the book as separate chapters or the whole text:

MapTiler to create online maps II

In an earlier post I wrote how I created a mash-up map with MapTiler. There is an option in MapTiler to set transparency for a color, but this didn’t work for me at the time. I therefore created a small script to convert the background color to transparent and to process all PNG tiles generated by MapTiler using the PNGNQ utility.

I am working on a new online map and this time setting the background color to transparent in MapTiler works like a charm Continue reading

Atlas of potential vegetation of Ethiopia

In July this year a new vegetation map of Ethiopia was published by the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters (Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab).


Cover of the Atlas of potential vegetation of Ethiopia


The atlas is based on many years of field work by the two senior authors ( Ib Friis and Sebsebe Demissew) Continue reading