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 Amazon (1985-2020), 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, ecosystems, and land use from each of the participating countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela). The team works from their national 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 land cover and land use maps and Landsat mosaics can be downloaded through the following link: http://amazonia.mapbiomas.org/descargas

    In this link you will find a tool in Google Earth Engine that allows the download of the complete collection, as well as the download by specific territorial or temporal slices.

    Don't forget to download the legend codes at: http://amazonia.mapbiomas.org/codigos-de-la-leyenda 

  • 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 3, layer 0 = 1985 and layer 35 = 2020.

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

    Large time series of land cover and land use maps generated at the scale that MapBiomas Amazonía works (30 m pixels) are not practical in vector format. All data processing is done in raster format, pixel by pixel.

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

    There is no such possibility on the MapBiomas Amazon platform. Map vectorization is extremely expensive in terms of computational resources and impractical for the whole territory. The recommended solution, if you want to work with vector, is to download the data, make the territorial or spatial cutout of your interest and then vectorize with your preferred software.

  • expand_more 8. Is MapBiomas Amazon data public?

    Yes, MapBiomas Amazon data are 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, MapBiomas Amazonia 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 is available for download at: Detailed Legend Collection 3 MapBiomas Amazonia

    The codes and color palette of each legend class is available 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?

    To facilitate access to coverage and transition MapBiomas data by year, the project toolkit was created. Through this tool, it is possible to export the collection by biome, country, province, municipality, watershed, protected areas, or indigenous territories boundary that the user is interested in cutting.

    Access the tutorial video to learn how to use the toolkit. The following data are currently available:

    - Land Use and Coverage Maps 

    - Area Calculation 

  • 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 with 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 a 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