Our Response to COVID-19 Visit website

Remote Sensing and GIS

Remote Sensing and GIS

IORA’s Remote Sensing and GIS team specializes in the application of geospatial technology in the forestry and land use sectors. We have successfully carried out multi-temporal analysis of land use and land cover change using varied resolution RS datasets, created forest degradation maps and integrated RS analysis with mobile app based field inventory for forest carbon mapping. We also created vegetation maps and trained a large cadre of forestry professionals in these techniques. Apart from our core projects, we routinely support other teams by providing satellite images and maps.


Delhi Landmark Tree Map

Based on research and consultations with designated Forest Experts, IORA in partnership with Vertiver developed and designed the Delhi TreeMap. It was released by the Honorable Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change on the International Day of Forests (21st March 2016). The TreeMap formed a part of the awareness campaign to mark the symbolism of the International Day of Forests. The Map brings forth 59 significant tree species of Delhi that line the city’s corridors and provides us with vital ecosystem services including cultural, heritage and aesthetic values.

Location Delhi, India
Duration 2016
Client Name Not Applicable
National Technical Assistance to Analyze Data and Design Best Practices During Updation of Forest Working Plan

IORA assisted the Assam Forest Department in updating 21 Working Plans in Assam as per new National Working Plan Code (NWPC)-2014 using global best practices and latest technological approaches. IORA integrated remote sensing analysis and GIS with the Working Plan designs seamlessly and created robust datasets through; i)Use of advanced geo-spatial algorithms to map the green wash of the area; ii)Site suitability analysis and correlation of different attributes with suggestions site specific treatment; iii) Assessment, mapping and geo-spatial representation of the forest growing stock at compartment level (smallest forest management unit); iv) Creation of remote sensing based regression models for carbon stock estimation; and v) Spatial delineation of micro-watersheds. The total area covered under the project was 50856.44 square kilometres. Additionally, a mobile app was developed which supports the real time entry of forest inventory data. Capacity building and training workshops were conducted for forest officials.


Location Assam
Duration April 2016 – May 2017
Client Name Assam Projects on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Society (APFBC)
Estimation of Potential Value of Ecosystem Services and Development of REDD+ Project for Assam

“IORA has developed a pilot Jurisdictional REDD+ project in Assam to enable successful integration of multiple sustainable forest management interventions with emphasis on income generation and livelihood security. Remote sensing based deliverables of the project were Land Use Land Cover (LULC) analysis, forest type and canopy density layers for 4 time periods viz. 2000, 2006, 2010 and 2015. Canopy layers were prepared using algorithms, advanced digital interpretation techniques and verification on ground. Deforestation and degradation analysis was performed using these layers.
The work has supported the development of REDD+ baseline, mandatory for the piloting the REDD+ project. IORA is developing a monitoring plan post stakeholder consultation. These activities have been compiled into a Project Design on a Jurisdictional REDD+ project in Nagaon. The total implementation area for the project was 5538.09 square kilometres.
Additional Information may be found at

Location Assam
Duration April 2016 – May 2017
Client Name Wild Life Research and Conservation Society, Maharashtra State Forest Department
Preparing Decision Support Tool -Region and Context Dependent Afforestation for Water Conservation and Run – off Avoidance

” The project aims to develop a regional decision support tool (DST) for the Department of Forest, Government of Maharashtra for undertaking afforestation programmes with positive impacts on water conservation and runoff avoidance. IORA has finalized the decision support system parameters and projected the analysed data in the spatial domain. GIS layers created in the spatial domain were forest type, forest cover, LULC, soil, temperature, rainfall, hydrological and geological information. These layers were used for development of digital species centric afforestation plans for water conservation in the area under study. IORA created an Afforestation Decision Support System (ADSS) by developing a web-enabled portal (WEP) hosting the GIS layer and a database to answer queries for both android and iPhone systems.

Location Maharastra
Duration July 2017-Ongoing
Client Name Maharashtra Forest Department, DFID
Preparation of land use maps, vegetation cover; and biodiversity status report of landscapes in selected districts of Sikkim (Upper Teesta – Khangchendzonga Landscape)

“The study aims to discern and prioritize regions with varying biodiverse resources in order to understand the relationship of regional biodiversity with local and global influences. The study encompasses features from spatial and non-spatial domain, which will facilitate an all-inclusive sustainable management of highland biodiversity in SECURE – Himalayan (Securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems) – The Khangchendzonga –Upper Teesta Landscape, located in the North District of Sikkim. The core objectives of this project include identifying and mapping various land use types in the landscape. Geospatial mapping of land use by socio-legal/ownership categories and spatial characterization of biodiversity in the landscape with reference to vegetation types, dominant species, and ecologically important hotspots will be carried out. The economic value of ecosystem services (both subsistence and commercial) will be quantified along with development of indicators to monitor the health of landscape.
IORA is preparing an action plan in Sikkim post consultation with community members through participatory approach to understand their dependency on various natural resources species and suggest possible alternative solutions to avoid unsustainable use of resources. Project work-plan includes creation of baseline and field surveys, biodiversity characterization using phytosociological & landscape analysis, economic valuation of resources and mapping of eco-sensitive zones. Additionally, IORA will carry out identification and quantification of indicators for monitoring the health of various land use areas.
Some key outcomes expected from this project are:
• Spatial delineation of health indicators like fragmentation, biological richness etc.
• Generation of Land use land cover maps, Vegetation type map and administrative datasets (spatial).
• Detailed report on species diversity
• Maps with Eco-sensitive areas, Forest and Non forest patches (Fragmentation layer), Disturbance index, Species richness layers
Based on the results, IORA will identify and quantify indicators for monitoring the ecological health of various land use areas over time on a geospatial platform. Total area under study is expected to be 3600 square kilometres.

Location Sikkim
Duration Nov. 2018 -ongoing
Client Name UNDP India, Global Environment Facility(GEF) & Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC)