Tutorials and hands-on lessons for learning

Working with Tropical Forest Imagery

Imagery is a powerful tool for communicating about location and landscape change. We’ve partnered with Planet to share templates and step-by-step instructions for how to use imagery from Norway’s International Climate & Forests Initiative (NICFI) in custom web maps built with Mapbox GL JS.


  • NICFI Basic: Interactive web map displaying NICFI imagery from one time period.
  • NICFI Viewer: Interactive web map with the option to choose imagery from multiple time periods from a drop-down menu.
  • NICFI Compare: Side-by-side swipe interaction to view imagery from two different time periods.

Working with imagery

To create a map using custom imagery, one approach is to download imagery files, process them, and upload them to Mapbox Studio as a custom layer in a map style. Or, if the imagery is available via a third-party API, it is also possible to add it as a layer directly in the code for a web map - no processing required. Learn more about working with imagery in Mapbox.


Through Norway’s International Climate & Forests Initiative, anyone can now access Planet’s high-resolution, analysis-ready mosaics of the world’s tropics in order to help reduce and reverse the loss of tropical forests, combat climate change, conserve biodiversity, and facilitate sustainable development.

In support of NICFI’s mission, you can use this data for a number of projects including, but not limited to:

  • Advance scientific research about the world’s tropical forests and the critical services they provide.
  • Implement and improve policies for sustainable forest management and land use in developing tropical forest countries and jurisdictions.
  • Increase transparency and accountability in the tropics.
  • Protect and improve the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in tropical forest countries.
  • Innovate solutions towards reducing pressure on forests from global commodities and financial markets.

The tutorials in this resource demonstrate how to use Planet-NICFI imagery in custom Mapbox web maps for visual analysis and storytelling projects.

Supporting resources

Access NICFI imagery

To access Planet NICFI imagery you will need to register and apply for access. Use cases must adhere with the NICFI Purpose and cannot be primarily in pursuit of profit.

Register for Level 1 NICFI access at https://www.planet.com/nicfi/. (Higher level access is limited to partners selected by the Norwegian Ministry.)

If you have questions about accessing or working with NICFI imagery, please contact nicfi-servicedesk@ksat.no for 24/7 support.

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