New Features in the LEARN Tool Expand Functionality for Assessing GHG Emissions from Land Use

As the effects of a warming climate become more apparent, it’s increasingly important to consider ways to mitigate the impact of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere. Forests play a key role in the climate crisis, as about a third of human emitted greenhouse gases are sequestered in trees and forests. Analyzing the impact these forests and tress have using land use and land cover change data is a great way for municipalities to get a read on the effects of greenhouse gas emissions in their own communities.

LEARN Tool ScreenShot 6

Blue Raster is pleased to release the new build for the LEARN (Land Emissions and Removals Navigator) Tool. Built in partnership with Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), the LEARN Tool allows for community inventorying of the effects of land use change on greenhouse gas emissions. This tool empowers policy makers, local governments, and community members to make informed decisions on environmental and climate policy.  Blue Raster developed the LEARN Tool to address a significant gap in existing carbon accounting methods. Traditionally, previously analyses have focused on measuring their emissions from energy and transportation sectors, while the emissions and removals from land-use change and forestry have been overlooked. However, these land-based emissions and removals are responsible for a significant proportion of the carbon footprint, particularly in rural areas.

LEARN Tool ScreenShot 1

The LEARN Tool simplifies the process of assessing a community's net greenhouse gas balance. Users can quickly select their area of interest by searching for a municipality name or uploading their own shapefile. With intuitive sliders, users can configure their desired land cover and tree canopy data and choose data for forest and land cover change between 2001 and 2019, as well as data for trees outside of forests for the selected time frame. The analysis is generated for the chosen location and time frame, and users can compare their results against other cities and municipalities. The tool provides emission factors, removal factors, and harvested wood products as view factors for the selected comparison area, with the option to download the results as a PDF or CSV file.

The latest version of the LEARN Tool comes packed with new features that improve its functionality. Users now have access to 1m Tree Canopy Data within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Program and Chesapeake Conservancy, providing users with valuable insights into how trees and forests impact greenhouse gas inventories. The inventory period configuration screen has also been upgraded with new toggle widgets, offering users greater flexibility in selecting between 30m and 1m data in their analyses. These new features enhance the user experience and expand the tool's capabilities, making it even more valuable for communities looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Blue Raster is excited to roll out this tool in its final form to benefit communities across the country.


Software used: ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Image Server, Esri JavaScript API

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