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  • Dr. Carlos Portillo-Quintero Texas Tech University

Promoting Forest Conservation - Corcovado National Park

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

Dr. Carlos Portillo-Quintero, Texas Tech University, has been using te donated Digital Globe Imagery as ancillary data for mapping anthropogenic features around the eastern area of the Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica using the TeachOSM platform. Along with Members and collaborators of the TTU YouthMappers chapter (Renan Dalmonech, Matthew Jackson and Nwasinachi Menkiti), they compare and use the imagery provided by services embedded in the TeachOSM iD editor tools (Digital Globe, ESRI World, Mapbox) to digitize features and interactively check each task project using the time series of imagery provided by Digital Globe Foundation in ArcGIS. They have digitized thousands of linear and polygon features within 93 tiles in the terrestrial portion of eastern Corcovado National Park and validated 92% of these features. Currently, they are working on setting up the proper method to display the high-resolution imagery within the tasking manager through a WMS or WMTS server. The team has been actively involved in setting up the project as a case study in the TeachOsm platform. Renan Dalmonech and Matthew Jackson have been developing a tutorial for digitizing anthropogenic features such as roads, buildings and developed land.

Most of the challenges have been related to the proper identification of land features resulting from the conversion of natural habitat to anthropogenic use. The high-resolution imagery from the Digital Globe Foundation has helped in the proper identification of these land cover types. Another challenge is the proper categorization given to different land uses in the local context using the iD Editor tool. Students involved in the digitization have been introduced to the TeachOSM platform and have learned about the local issues related to forest conversion within the Corcovado National Park such as illegal gold mining and tourism development.

This project aims to increase public involvement in the detection of small and large disturbances affecting humid forests around and inside the Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. Participants identify and delineate agricultural and urban expansion affecting humid forests occurred from 2016-2017. This information will identify threats to the National Park and its buffer areas and help local park managers make informed decisions to promote specific conservation actions on the ground. Results from the current developments will be shared with the general manager of Forestry GIS system (SIREFOR) for Costa Rica.

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