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Visualising forests

Illegal logging is a blight on Guatemala’s landscape as more and more forests are decimated, leaving a huge impact on the nation’s people and ecology.

Between 1950 and 2002 Guatemala lost half its forest cover. It’s an intimidatingly large problem and the traditional methods of tracking illegitimate logging across the country are getting left behind by the speed and scale of the illegal activity.

Astrosat designed FMAP to keep the Guatemalan authorities one step ahead of the game with satellite-driven data capable of showing logging movements in clear visual ways across the whole of the country.


Efficient. Effective.

FMAP is designed to show, in a clear and visual way, where in Guatemala is being affected by deforestation.

Our objective was to make FMAP a far more cost and work-efficient way of tracking illegal logging. As it stands, governments track the changing shape of the forest using slow processes such as ground patrols and public reporting.

With satellite imagery we can provide a visual way of highlighting at-risk areas and identifying illegal movements before too much damage is done. The up-front costs are higher, but this method offers a more effective and economic long-term solution.

By combining satellite images with terrestrial data such as legal logging applications, we can streamline all of the information into one easily digestible, visual dataset that clearly marks the areas most affected by illegal activity. The end users can then apply filters to the dataset in order to make it as relevant and useful as possible.

Earth meets space

Astrosat tackled the problems fromdifferent angles, employing different facets of space technology to address each one.

Land Crime
Using satellite technology to observe the landscape. We can watch the forest canopies to see where logging is taking place and cross-reference that with terrestrial data to generate a score for the risk of illegal activity.

Forest Incentives
Using the same technology we employ for tracking deforestation, we can also observe through satellite imagery where forests are in the process of recovering. The National Forestry Institute (INAB) offers programmes to incentivise re-afforestation, and we can use FMAP to monitor the success of these plans without repeated visits to the sites.