explorer.land: Regrowing confidence in forest restoration projects with maps and data

Marena Brinkhurst
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Mar 4, 2021

explorer.land: Regrowing confidence in forest restoration projects with maps and data

Marena Brinkhurst

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Mar 4, 2021

explorer.land is a monitoring and communication platform for forest protection and reforestation projects. By improving information management and communication about forest projects, the platform is helping the reforestation sector to grow around the world.

Forest projects are one of the most effective ways to reach climate goals, but gaps in monitoring and data collection mean many of these projects struggle with quality control, transparency, and credible reporting of impact. OpenForests has years of experience consulting with forest projects and building map-based forest information systems that address these gaps. They recognized the need for better communication and monitoring tools across the entire field and created a scalable platform to help: explorer.land.

The platform allows anyone, with or without GIS or programming expertise, to create rich web maps to inform stakeholders and financial supporters about planting activities and results. Managing information inside the platform also helps organizations to use their data to improve land management decisions.

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"explorer.land helps me authentically and transparently communicate the impact of Greenpop’s work to our donors. It has combined many of the goals we have for project communications into one easy-to-use platform."
- Carla Wessels, Partnerships & Communications, Greenpop


To help users engage with project sites, explorer.land uses Mapbox GL for smooth camera movements and high performance on any device - desktop, tablet, or mobile - even when exploring large amounts of project data like high-resolution drone imagery.

explorer.land supports site selection and land management planning with thematic data layers like forest fragmentation status, priority ecoregions, and remote sensing for wildfire monitoring.

Restoring Nature at Vinha Velha project

Positive impacts on wildlife and biodiversity is a major benefit of forest restoration and a major driver of donor support. Projects like one in Indonesia use explorer.land to share geolocated content like photos of tiger footprints and wildlife camera footage to demonstrate how the forest recovery is rebuilding habitat. Such content can be captured with the explorer.land story mapping app or uploaded via the explorer.land backend.

Native Android story mapping app for geolocated content updates

Supporters of forest restoration projects can see where trees have been planted and their growth progress. The team uploads custom drone imagery to Mapbox Studio and stitches it together with high-quality satellite imagery to show the reforestation site before planting and after the trees have grown to create a powerful visual impact.

A former cattle farm in Panama reforested with a mix of tree species

Organizations can embed their project maps into their own webpages thanks to the responsive design and scalability of the platform.

SeaTrees embeds their underwater forest project page directly into their website

Today over 200 forestry and conservation projects across Latin America, Europe, Africa, and South-East-Asia are using explorer.land’s interactive maps to share progress and build relationships with stakeholders at local, regional, and global levels.

"Since engagement in explorer.land, potential clients, and partners are contacting us. It is a wonderful platform with a super-wide network of potential clients and partners. It has helped us a lot in moving forward with our ecosystem restoration activities."
- Paul Burgers, CEO, CO2 Operate B.V.


Join our March 18th Lunchbox with OpenForests to learn more about the explorer.land story.


Start an explorer.land project today with a free account or search for projects to support. If you are using location tools to support healthy forests, the Mapbox Community team is here to help.

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