Satellite-Based Change Recognition and Tracking


ForWarn is forest change recognition and tracking system that uses high-frequency, moderate resolution satellite data. It provides near real-time forest change maps for the continental United States that are updated every eight days. These maps show the effects of disturbances such as wildfires, wind storms, insects, diseases, and human-induced disturbances, in addition to departures from normal seasonal greenness caused by anomalous weather. Using this state of the art tracking system, it is possible to monitor post-disturbance recovery months to years after disturbance occurs.

This technology supports a broader cooperative forest management initiative known as the National Early Warning System (EWS). The EWS network brings together various organizations involved in mapping disturbances, climate stress, aerial and ground monitoring, and predictive efforts to achieve more efficient forest planning and management across jurisdictions.

ForWarn consists of a set of inter-related products including near real time forest change maps, an archive of past change maps, an archive of seasonal vegetation phenology maps, and derived map products from these efforts. For a detailed discussion of these products, or to access these map products in the project’s Assessment Viewer or to explore these data using other GIS services, look under the Data header.