Forests play a crucial role in timber production, maintenance and development of biodiversity and in carbon sequestration and storage. However, the reliable information on forest extent, type and change, which is so important to policy makers and managers, is frequently inconsistent, incomplete and out of sync between countries and continents. In this article, we describe components developed in line with the GEOSS and INSPIRE frameworks, which access and use distributed forest information at different spatial scales, and demonstrate how these can be integrated into geographic information infrastructures. The components include an INSPIRE-compliant metadata catalogue for discovery of forest information, Web map viewers and Web-based forest analysis and modeling tools. The aim is to provide access to forest resources data at local, regional and global spatial scales, and to provide analytical capabilities for monitoring and validating forest change, using standardized Web services to facilitate accessibility, interoperability and data transfer. In this context, we also introduce concepts related to Open Geospatial Web Standards.
|Published - 25 Jul 2012