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Open AccessArticle

An Operational Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) Designed Platform for Vegetation Monitoring at Planetary Scale

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Spatial Informatics Group, LLC, 2529 Yolanda Ct., Pleasanton, CA 94566, USA
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SERVIR-Mekong, SM Tower, 24th Floor, 979/69 Paholyothin Road, Samsen Nai Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
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Google, Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
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Geospatial Analysis Lab, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
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Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, SM Tower, 24th Floor, 979/69 Paholyothin Road, Samsen Nai Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
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Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, 320 Sparkman Dr., Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
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SERVIR Science Coordination Office, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, 320 Sparkman Dr., Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
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Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Colorado Denver, Campus Box 126, PO Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364, USA
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Winrock International, Vietnam Forests and Deltas program, 98 to Ngoc Van, Tay Ho, Hanoi 100803, Vietnam
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050760
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 13 May 2018 / Published: 15 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Google Earth Engine Applications)
In this study, we develop a vegetation monitoring framework which is applicable at a planetary scale, and is based on the BACI (Before-After, Control-Impact) design. This approach utilizes Google Earth Engine, a state-of-the-art cloud computing platform. A web-based application for users named EcoDash was developed. EcoDash maps vegetation using Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products (the MOD13A1 and MYD13A1 collections) from both Terra and Aqua sensors from the years 2000 and 2002, respectively. to detect change in vegetation, we define an EVI baseline period, and then draw results at a planetary scale using the web-based application by measuring improvement or degradation in vegetation based on the user-defined baseline periods. We also used EcoDash to measure the impact of deforestation and mitigation efforts by the Vietnam Forests and Deltas (VFD) program for the Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces in Vietnam. Using the period before 2012 as a baseline, we found that as of March 2017, 86% of the geographical area within the VFD program shows improvement, compared to only a 24% improvement in forest cover for all of Vietnam. Overall, we show how using satellite imagery for monitoring vegetation in a cloud-computing environment could be a cost-effective and useful tool for land managers and other practitioners View Full-Text
Keywords: BACI; Enhanced Vegetation Index; Google Earth Engine; cloud-based geo-processing BACI; Enhanced Vegetation Index; Google Earth Engine; cloud-based geo-processing
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Poortinga, A.; Clinton, N.; Saah, D.; Cutter, P.; Chishtie, F.; Markert, K.N.; Anderson, E.R.; Troy, A.; Fenn, M.; Tran, L.H.; Bean, B.; Nguyen, Q.; Bhandari, B.; Johnson, G.; Towashiraporn, P. An Operational Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) Designed Platform for Vegetation Monitoring at Planetary Scale. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 760.

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