9 Places to find data on the environment


What is the best way of reporting on data related to the environment? Where do you find the data in the first place? How do you make it relatable to the public and which challenges do you face along the way? Last October, seven experts got together on the Data Journalism Awards Slack team on to tackle these questions.

Tim Meko of The Washington Post (USA), Gustavo Faleiros of InfoAmazonia (Brazil), Rina Tsubaki of European Forest Institute (Spain), Kate Marvel of NASA GISS (USA), Elisabetta Tola of Formicablu (Italy), Octavia Payne and James Anderson of Global Forest Watch (USA), all took part in the discussion.

Here are their top nine places to find environmental data:

1. The Planet OS Datahub makes it easy to build data-driven applications and analyses by providing consistent, programmatic access to high-quality datasets from the world’s leading providers. Check it out here.

2. AQICN looks at air pollution in the world with a real-time air quality index. Check it out here.

3. Aqueduct by the World Resources Institute, for mapping water risk and floods around the world. Check it out here.

4. The Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) by NASA provides data from various sources — satellites, aircraft, field measurements, and various other programs. Check it out here.

5. FAOSTAT provides free access to food and agriculture data for over 245 countries and territories and covers all FAO regional groupings from 1961 to the most recent year available. Check it out here.

6. Global Forest Watch offers the latest data, technology and tools that empower people everywhere to better protect forests. Check it out here.

7. The Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF) provides earth science data and products to help everyone to better understand global environmental systems. In particular, the GLCF develops and distributes remotely sensed satellite data and products that explain land cover from the local to global scales. Check it out here.

8. Google Earth Engine’s timelapse tool is useful for satellite imagery, enables you to map changes over time. Check it out here.

9. Planet Labs is also great for local imagery and monitoring. Their website feature practical examples of where their maps and satellite images were used by news organisations.

This is an extract of GEN's microguide to environmental data. Read the full guide here.

Image: Environment Agency Survey Open Data.