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This data set, a collaboration between the GLAD (Global Land Analysis & Discovery) lab at the University of Maryland, Google, USGS, and NASA, measures areas of tree cover loss across all global land (except Antarctica and other Arctic islands) at approximately 30 × 30 meter resolution. The data were generated using multispectral satellite imagery from the Landsat 5 thematic mapper (TM), the Landsat 7 thematic mapper plus (ETM+), and the Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) sensors. Over 1 million satellite images were processed and analyzed, including over 600,000 Landsat 7 images for the 2000-2012 interval, and approximately 400,000 Landsat 5, 7, and 8 images for updates for the 2011-2014 interval. The clear land surface observations in the satellite images were assembled and a supervised learning algorithm was applied to identify per pixel tree cover loss. In this data set, “tree cover” is defined as all vegetation greater than 5 meters in height, and may take the form of natural forests or plantations across a range of canopy densities. Tree cover loss is defined as “stand replacement disturbance,” or the complete removal of tree cover canopy at the Landsat pixel scale. Tree cover loss may be the result of human activities, including forestry practices such as timber harvesting or deforestation (the conversion of natural forest to other land uses), as well as natural causes such as disease or storm damage. Fire is another widespread cause of tree cover loss, and can be either natural or human-induced. This data set has been updated twice since its creation, and now includes loss up to 2014 (Version 1.2). The analysis method has been modified in numerous ways, including new data for the target year, re-processed data for the previous two years (2011 and 2012 for the Version 1.1 update, 2012 and 2013 for the Version 1.2 update), and improved modelling and calibration. These modifications improve change detection for 2011-2014, including better detection of boreal loss due to fire, smallholder rotation agriculture in tropical forests, selective losing, and short cycle plantations. Eventually, a future “Version 2.0” will include reprocessing for 2000-2010 data, but in the meantime integrated use of the original data and Version 1.2 should be performed with caution. Read more about the Version 1.2 update here. When zoomed out (< zoom level 13), pixels of loss are shaded according to the density of loss at the 30 x 30 meter scale. Pixels with darker shading represent areas with a higher concentration of tree cover loss, whereas pixels with lighter shading indicate a lower concentration of tree cover loss. There is no variation in pixel shading when the data is at full resolution (≥ zoom level 13). The tree cover canopy density of the displayed data varies according to the selection - use the legend on the map to change the minimum tree cover canopy density threshold.

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