Global map of Hotspots of land cover and Land use change

Purpose: The goal of this project is to present examples of current hot spots of land cover and land use change around the globe, through an interactive online map. This project was a collaboration between graduate students in the Department of Geography at the University of Maryland, College Park, and was completed in late 2009. The site is periodically updated as new hotspots are identified by scientists from NASA’s Land-Use Land-Cover Change Program.

Hotspot Definition: For the purposes of this project, a "hotspot" is defined as existent or potential change to a region or area through land cover and land use change that has regional to global implications. The hotspots were also considered within the context of pressing environmental and social issues such as climate change, biodiversity, human health, and sustainability. Primary considerations were to identify areas of change within the last five years and areas of continued or potential future change.

Hotspot Categories: Seven broad categories of land-cover land-use change were identified for this project. In some cases the categories are related to one another, and other hotspots can be added as needed.

Hotspot Locations