Italy, October 17, 2014: FAO has launched an online resource tool Open Foris that it hopes will improve the way many developing nations monitor the state of their forests to tackle deforestation and climate change.
Open Foris’s Geospatial Toolkit includes a collection of command-line utilities for processing of geographical data. It aims to simplify the complex process of transforming raw satellite imagery for automatic image processing to produce valuable information. It is particularly useful for processing big amounts of raster data, and provides a wide range of functionalities including image manipulation, statistics, segmentation and classification. The tools have been tested mainly in Ubuntu Linux environment although can be used with other linux distros, Mac OS, and MS Windows (Cygwin) as well. Most of the stand-alone programs use GDAL libraries and many of the scripts rely heavily on GDAL command-line utilities.
Open Foris tools are being built to support the entire inventory lifecycle, from needs assessment, design, planning, field data collection and management, estimation analysis, and dissemination. Remote sensing image processing tools are included, as well as tools for international reporting such as for REDD+ MRV and FAO FRA.
The initiative was created under the FAO-Finland Forestry Programme in collaboration with FAO’s support to National Forest Monitoring and Assessment (NFMA) and the UN-REDD Programme to address the growing need for accurate and timely information on the state of forest resources and their use and users.
Released at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations' World Congress in Salt Lake City, Open Foris tools are already being tested in more than ten countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The governments of Finland and Germany have extended their supported to the initiative.