Mapping Mangroves and Corals via Satellite and Drone


Mangrove ecosystems are mapped using a semi-automated process in Google Earth Engine. This enables annual or even semi-annual updates of mangrove cover with the latest satellite images available, including Senintel-2 at 10m resolution. These maps are being combined with advanced monitoring techniques from NASA, a partner in this project.

We have mapped mangroves in Mozambique, Tanzania and Madagascar. Here is a Google Earth Engine app showing mangroves over time for Madagascar.  


Benthic habitats can be mapped according to a hierarchical classification scheme grouping substrate by coral dominated cover, vegetation and seagrass and sand. WWF has already mapped the underwater habitats in Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago reserve using very high spatial resolution data, and is currently mapping the Quirimbas National Park in the north.

View our field data collection effort in this live map, which integrates data collected via mobile app, and also shows our drone survey locations.


Seagrasses are the main food source of the dugong (sea cow). Changes in seagrass meadows mean these slow creatures move outside protected areas and face threats of fishers, boats. Accurately mapping seagrass beds over time helps assess available habitat and adaptive conservation management for a changing ecosystem. Here are the results of our new algorithms being developed for Mozambique with partners:

We have developed mobile apps to collect digital, consistent, error-free data in the marine environment without a single paper data sheet. All information is securely backed up in the cloud.  
Do you need automated algorithms for marine remote sensing applications, combined with drone-based mapping? Let us know. 

Tags: Africa, Coastal, coral, Drone, Google Earth Engine, sea, seascape

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