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Mapathon for Pilot Global Assessment of Trends in Tree Cover and Land Use

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nation, in cooperation with Google and WRI, has developed a new, innovative mapping tool to assess trends in tree cover and land use. The tool, called Collect Earth, is an application that uses very high resolution satellite images such as those found in Google Earth and Bing to systematically describe a landscape.

WRI India and FAO are planning a 2 weeks Mapathon on Collect Earth to map trees and land use in South Asia. The Mapathon will involve a training by experts from FAO and WRI, followed by a data collection exercise using Collect Earth. The work is part of the Rome Promise process, and FAO’s pilot global assessment of trends in tree cover and land use. WRI India is leading this project for the South Asia region. The results from the WRI India’s mapathon will contribute to the first ever detailed map on trends in tree cover and land sue, which will be presented to the United Nations.

The mapathon provides an excellent learning opportunity and participants will become familiar with a new-high-tech tool for landscape mapping and monitoring (see for more information.) that can easily be adapted and used in other projects and regions. Such bottom-up replication (“self-pollination”) is based on the core philosophy of the project and is also one of the reasons why we want to invite young professionals and students to apply. The mapathon will involve a training by experts from FAO and WRI, followed by a data collection exercise using the Collect Earth.


  • Basic working knowledge of computers
  • General knowledge of landscapes and land use
  • Ability to dedicate 2 weeks of your time without any interruption (weekdays only)

Please note - Travel and accommodation (if needed) will be paid for. At the end of the mapathon, participants will receive a certificate from WRI India and FAO. The two weeks will include extensive training on Collect Earth and the actual mapathon

Interested candidates are requested to respond by 5 August 2016. To register and for more details, contact Kanchana CB at

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