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Goal: Apply Knowledge Globally Forest Service Software Goes Global

Screenshot of the GuidosToolbox user interface

The GuidosToolbox offers a free, user-friendly alternative to commercial software tools for users across the globe to monitor forest fragmentation and landscape patterns at any scale.

Introduction

Originally intended to foster and support U.S.-European harmonization of forest assessments required for the Montreal Process and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a research collaboration has become the vehicle to transfer Forest Service technology to an underserved global community of forest resource analysts.

Summary

Since 1999, Forest Service research has discovered and applied efficient and informative ways to monitor forest fragmentation and landscape patterns using land cover maps at national to global scales. Researchers developed specialized software to support Forest Service Resources Planning Act (RPA) and sustainability assessments, but it was not feasible to transfer that software to a global community of users. An Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center research collaboration with the European Commission Joint Research Center that was first established in 2003 has now achieved that technology transfer. Researchers have incorporated Forest Service software and algorithms to conduct a full range of multi-scale data analyses and assessments that have been used in official U.S. assessments into the latest version of the GuidosToolbox. With a global user base of approximately 20,000, the GuidosToolbox offers a free, user-friendly alternative to commercial software that is typically not available in the developing world, with extensive online training for U.S. assessment protocols and software support provided by the European Commission.

Principal Investigator
Kurt Riitters, Research Ecologist & Team Leader
RWU
4854 - Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center
Strategic Program Area
Forest Inventory and Analysis
Publication
GuidosToolbox: universal digital image object analysis
CompassLive Story
Research Partners
U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (Research and Development)
Resources Planning Act staff area (Research and Development)
Forest Health Monitoring
External Partner
Peter Vogt, European Commission Joint Research Centre