Monday, February 2, 2015

Amazon Road Deforestation and GIS

The Amazon basin undergoes up to 26,000 kilometers squared of forest area deforestation a year. Regardless of the apparent contribution timber companies make to deforestation, they are also heavily impacting deforestation with the way the logging roads manifest spatially. The roads built by loggers/logging trucks provide a transportation route for “spontaneous colonists” looking for a place to farm. Current logging systems were implemented to protect private lands, but instead seem to be provoking the logging companies to target illegal foresting areas due to costs and uncertainties. There are six types of common patterns of deforestation discussed: geometric, corridor, fishbone, diffuse, patchy, and island, which can be seen using aerial photography and satellite imagery. When finding the cost analysis of the different routes, a GIS advancement, the Dijkstra algorithm was implemented to find the path of least cost. The paper concluded with the development of a model appropriate for determining the special decision making of loggers- which was earlier described by loggers not knowing exact locations of trees before they get to their logging locations, resulting in expansion (braches of road) basically until it is too expensive to expand anymore. 


  1. Mostly, deforestation is caused by human beings. However, the use of trees is inevitable for us. Therefore, the use of GIS and Dijkstra algorithm is significant for us to find the best way and least cost for appropriate logging.

  2. I agree with Millers comment that humans are the leading cause of deforestation. Now with the use of GIS and Dijkstra algorithm we can get accurate information about deforestation levels. Along with helping logging companies be more cost effective, it is also a tool to monitor the Amazon rainforest to ensure its survival.

  3. I agree with Miller's comment as well; humans are the leading cause of deforestation; however, with the new GIS technology we have available in today's world, maybe we can implement it into an experiment in order to find out how significant of a negative impact us human beings have on the environment.