TerraClass Data is Available on Web

Hello reader!

It follows one communicates published on the day (13/09) in the website of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) nothing that the TerraClass data is available on web.

Duda Falcão

TerraClass Data is Available on Web

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Both mapping data done by TerraClass on the land use of Amazon deforested areas and executive summary of the survey are available under Brazilian National Institute for Space Research’s website. The page can be accessed from “Amazonia” link of the “Products and Services” list.

For the first time, the land use of cleared areas of this biome was mapped to show what was done with the 720 thousand square kilometers of forest already cleared.

Therefore, the information from PRODES on deforestation, occurred by 2008, was analyzed. PRODES is an INPE’s system that maps annual deforestation in Amazon using satellite images.

This new interpretation resulted in a digital map that describes the situation of land use considering the following themes: agriculture, clean pasture, woody pasture, pasture with exposed soil, regeneration with pasture, second-growth forest, occupations mosaic, mining and urban area.

The maps show most part of the region (about 60%) made way for livestock. Around 21% recorded second-growth forest, areas that have been regenerated or where exotic species have been planted.

TerraClass is a joint Project of INPE and Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária  – EMBRAPA). Their early results were presented on September 2, by INPE’s General Director, Gilberto Câmara, during a ceremony in Brasília, Brazil.

Teams from Amazon Regional Centre (Centro Regional da Amazônia - CRA/INPE), EMBRAPA Eastern Amazon – both based in Belém (PA), Brazil – and from EMBRAPA Information Technology – in Campinas (SP), Brazil – have worked in the project.


Satellite monitoring is now essential in containing deforestation, to protect biodiversity, curb climate change and generate information necessary for policies implementation aimed at sustainable development. Since 1988, INPE maps operationally clear-cut deforestation by the project called “Monitoramento do Desflorestamento na Amazônia Legal” (PRODES), an internationally recognized system due to its excellence and pioneering.

INPE runs three systems to monitor Amazon deforestation – PRODES, Deter and DEGRAD – which act independently, but complementary.

PRODES is the world’s largest program of forest monitoring, due to its coverage of 4 million Km² every year. Their result shows annual rate of deforestation by clear cutting (when whole trees are removed).

Since 2004, INPE also runs Deter (Real Time Deforestation Detection – Detecção de Desmatamento em Tempo Real). Less detailed than PRODES - by using sensors that cover Amazon more frequently, but with lower spatial resolution images - Deter is broader and includes both clear-cut and forest degradation. It is used to quickly inform surveillance organizations about deforestation.

In 2008, degradation increase indicated by Deter motivated the creation of another system, called DEGRAD, to identify areas that could not be identified as clear-cut but are already deforested. Degradation makes the forest more vulnerable – the low vegetation is affected by fires and large trees keep standing, but dead.

Launch of TerraClass, which shows how deforested areas have been used, is part of the technologies improvement developed by INPE for environmental protection.


Amazon deforestation data have provided subsidies to public policies on supervision and sustainable development in the region. This data is available to any citizen, since INPE releases on the internet all information generated for society benefit, such as fires outbreaks, weather conditions, air quality, lightning occurrence, reservoirs level, among others. For INPE, an institution that is celebrating its 50 years, transparency on information is one of the major commitments.

Source: Website of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE)


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