FAQ

  • expand_more 1. What is MapBiomas?

    The MapBiomas project is an initiative of the Climate Observatory co-created and developed by a multi-institutional network involving universities, NGOs, and technology companies with the purpose of annually map Brazil's land-use and land cover and monitor the changes in the territory.

  • expand_more 2. What is MapBiomas Amazon?

    MapBiomas Amazonia is an initiative coordinated by the Amazonian Network of Geo-referenced Socio-environmental Information (RAISG). Its objective is to generate annual land cover and land use maps for the entire Pan-Amazon (2000-2017), based on the methodology developed for the Brazilian biomes by the Mapbiomas team.

  • expand_more 3. Who produces MapBiomas Amazon maps?

    MapBiomas Amazonía involves researchers and specialists in remote sensing, informatics, biomes and land use from each of the participating countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela). The team works from their offices and laboratories under close international coordination. All work is done using cloud computing through the Google Earth Engine platform.

  • expand_more 4. How can I download maps from MapBiomas Amazon?

    The maps can be downloaded directly on the platform through the link: Collection Maps

    Do not forget to download the legend codes in: Downloads

    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 all Landsat Mosaic data and transition maps. To obtain the IDs of the MapBiomas Amazon collections in Google Earth Engine, access: Assets 

  • expand_more 5. Why do the downloaded files have several layers of data?

    Each layer represents a year in the time series. For example, in Collection 2.0, layer 0 = 1985 and layer 34 = 2018. It is possible to download data directly from the Google Earth engine and adjust your request to specific territories or time windows.

  • expand_more 6. Why are maps shown only in raster format?

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

  • expand_more 7. Can I download the data in Shapefile format?

    There is no such possibility in the MapBiomas Amazon platform. The vectorization of maps is extremely expensive and impractical for the whole territory. The recommended solution, if you want to work with vectors, is to download the data, make the territorial or spatial cut of your interest and then vectorize with your favorite software.

  • expand_more 8. Is MapBiomas Amazon data public?

    Yes, the MapBiomas Amazon data is public and free for non-commercial use or for public interest purposes.

  • expand_more 9. Is it possible to work with MapBiomas Amazon data in the cloud without having to download them?

    Yes, the MapBiomas Amazon collections are available as layers (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.

  • expand_more 10. How can I cite the MapBiomas Amazon data?

    MapBiomas Amazon data are public and free, simply by referring to the source in the following format:

    "MapBiomas Amazon Project - Collection [version] of annual land cover and land use maps, accessed on [date] via link: [LINK]. The MapBiomas Amazon project - is a multi-institutional initiative to generate annual land use maps based on automatic classification processes applied to satellite imagery. The full description of the project can be found at http://amazonia.mapbiomas.org ".

  • expand_more 11. How can I access the MapBiomas Amazon data in Google Earth Engine?

    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 this link you can find examples of Scripts to access MapBiomas Amazon data in Google Earth Engine. 

  • expand_more 12. Where do I find the detailed description of the legend and the meaning of each caption code?

    The detailed description of the legend with the correspondent code (raster) is available for download at: Legend Codes

  • expand_more 13. Can I download tabular and statistical data of the land use and land cover maps? To which territorial subsets?

    Yes, land cover and land use statistics, as well as transition matrices for the entire Amazon region, biomes, states and municipalities are available for download at: Statistics

  • expand_more 14. How to download maps from a state or department?

    Inside the MapBiomas Amazon platform, the maps are available and ready to use, clipped by Biomes. For states and municipalities subsets, it can be generated inside Google Earth Engine, by accessing the script available at link. You must select the state and county and years of interest and export it to your Google Drive folder.

  • expand_more 15. How is the area of MapBiomas Amazon raster data calculated?

    Landsat has an average resolution of 30 m, so it is common to associate the area of a pixel to 900 m2. But, since the original MapBiomas Amazon data are created following the GEE standard representation (Lat/Long and WGS84), it does not use an equivalent projection (equal area). Therefore, the distance from the target to the Equator line influences the pixel size. Therefore, at continental scale, the calculation of pixel count and multiplication by 900 m2 should be avoided.

    In MapBiomas Amazon we apply two methods to calculate the area:

    1 - When performed outside Google Earth Engine, we reproduce the MapBiomas Amazonia datum for the UTM system and calculate the metric value of the central pixel, located at the intersection between the reference 1: 250,000 chart and the area of interest. Then, we count all the pixels within the area of interest and multiply by the reference value, in m², of the central pixel previously calculated.

    2 - When the calculation is performed in Google Earth Engine, we apply the function ee.Image.pixelArea () which generates an image in which the value of each pixel is the area of that pixel in square meters, taking into account possible cartographic distortions.

  • expand_more 16. Which maps were used as a reference for the mapping?

    You can access the description of all the reference maps used by MapBiomas Amazon at: Reference Maps