A deluge of Earth system data has become available in the past decades including remote sensing, in situ observations from sensors, socioeconomic data, and citizen science observations. One challenge is that in many countries such data is not routinely available. Another key challenge is to extract interpretable information and knowledge that allows for the quantification and monitoring of progress against the UNs Sustainable Development Goals, enabling evidence-based decision making for policymakers and the industry.
A global ecosystem for Environmental Intelligence has the potential to put us on a path toward a sustainable future. This will require action from citizens, governments, the private sector and intergovernmental organisations to collect and share data, process data and create analytical insights and knowledge. It requires more than the mere collection of data; it requires data fusion, modelling, analysis over time and space, understanding of the interdependencies, the correlations and tipping points as well as making timely predictions and interventions.
Below, is a nonexhaustive mega list of relevant datasets and databases that cover multiple ecosystems and spatiotemporal scales.
- Google Earth Engine: A planetary-scale platform for Earth science data & analysis
- Environmental Situation Room: The Science Division provides timely, scientifically credible, policy-relevant environmental assessments, data and information for decision-making and action planning for sustainable development.
- Defra Data Services Platform: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs data services platform
- Opendatasoft: Comprehensive list of 2600+ Open Data portals around the world
- Trends Earth: is a platform from Conservation International for monitoring land change using earth observations in a desktop and cloud-based system
- Department of the Environment and Energy, Australian Government: The Department designs and implements Australian Government policy and programs to protect and conserve the environment, water and heritage, promote climate action, and provide adequate, reliable and affordable energy
- UN Global Platform for Official Statistics
- UK’s Natural Environment Research Council data catalogue
- EPA Ireland’s Environmental Open Data Portal
- Nature’s Scientific Data: Scientific Data is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal for descriptions of scientifically valuable datasets, and research that advances the sharing and reuse of scientific data.
- GeoPlatform Data Resources: The OMB A–16 National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Portfolio is organized into 17 NGDA Themes made up of one or more associated NGDA Datasets
- UN Spatial Data Infrastructure initiative (UNSDI)
- Future Earth
- Earth Map
- PlanetOS: Planet OS delivers streamlined access to high-quality weather, climate, and environmental data from the world’s leading providers.
- Open Foris / Collect Earth
- CASEarth (Big Earth Data Platform
- United States Environmental Protection Agency
- Earth Explorer
- U.S. Geological Surveys: We provide science about the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods; the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources we rely on; the health of our ecosystems and environment; and the impacts of climate and land-use change
- USGS: The USGS serves the US by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.
- U.S. Energy Information Administration
- The European Data Portal: The European Data Portal harvests the metadata of public data made available across Europe (LOTS of environmental data)
- Environment Systems Data Service
- The United Nations Statistics Division: The United Nations Statistics Division is committed to the advancement of the global statistical system. We compile and disseminate global statistical information, develop standards and norms for statistical activities, and support countries’ efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems.
- Internet World Stats
- AI for Earth, Microsoft
- The Humanitarian Data Exchange: Find, share and use humanitarian data all in one place
- Earth Observation Sentinel
- Earth Genome
- Copernicus Open Access Hub
- Picterra: We help you find the right earth observation data sources, and provide you with machine-learning powered tools to transform raw image data into structured data and meaningful insights at a speed, scale and accuracy level
- Geospatial Big Data Platform (GDBX)
- Earth on AWS
- Earth Genome
- Radiant Earth
- Earth now
- Descartes Labs
- UK Solar System Data Centre (UKSSDC)
- List of GIS Data Sources
- Open Data Cube: An Open Source Geospatial Data Management & Analysis Platform
- ClimateSeed: projects to offset your carbon emissions while contributing to SDGs at a fair price
- Data Distribution Centre (DDC) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): The DDC provides climate, socio-economic and environmental data, both from the past and also in scenarios projected into the future. The DDC is designed primarily for climate change researchers, but materials contained on the site may also be of interest to educators, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and the general public.
- Space Climte Observatory
- Copernicus climate data store
- Moja: moja global helps countries understand their emissions today and plan their reductions for tomorrow.
- Climate engine: Analyze and interact with climate and earth observations for decision support related to drought, water use, agricultural, wildfire, and ecology
- VAMPIRE: Vulnerability Analysis Monitoring Platform for Impact of Regional Events an early warning system for climate impact
- Climate Watch> Climate Watch offers open data, visualizations and analysis to help policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders gather insights on countries’ climate progress
- Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness: Visualizing data to build climate resilience>
- NCEI: is the world’s largest provider of weather and climate data. Land-based, marine, model, radar, weather balloon, satellite, and paleoclimatic are just a few of the types of datasets available.
- UK’s MET Office: DataPoint is an unsupported service to access freely available Met Office data feeds in a format that is suitable for application developers.
- Berkeley Earth
- SDG 661 (Surface Water Monitoring)
- Global Surface Water Explorer: maps the location and temporal distribution of water surfaces at the global scale over the past 32 years
- Flood and Drought Monitor: freely available data for floods and drought assessments
- Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme: The Central TWAP Data Viewer is a tool to showcase and visualize the main indicator results of the TWAP. It harvests the results and indicators from the water-system specific databases, enabling users to simultaneously explore the results of all five assessments, including cross-cutting issues and synthesis results
- Aqueduct: The Atlas uses a robust, peer reviewed methodology and the best-available data to create high-resolution, customizable global maps of water risk
- Water Peace and Security Partnership
- Global Forest Watch: Global Forest Watch offers the latest data, technology and tools that empower people everywhere to better protect forests.
- Global Forest Resources Assessment
- IMPACT Tool Box: IMPACT toolbox was designed for analysing and assessing forest degradation using satellite imagery
- Global Forest: Global Forest Watch offers the latest data, technology and tools that empower people everywhere to better protect forests.
- Forest Atlas: The Forest Atlases are online platforms that help countries better manage their forest resources by combining government data with the latest forest monitoring technology
Biodiversity & Ecology
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF): Free and open access to biodiversity data from 43k databases
- Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP): Access biodiversity indicator data by country
- Wikipedia List of biodiversity databases
- UN Biodiversity Lab
- UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC): The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) works with scientists and policy makers worldwide to place biodiversity at the heart of environment and development decision-making to enable enlightened choices for people and the planet.
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
- IUCN Red List of Ecosystems
- Map of Life (MOL): The Map of Life assembles and integrates different sources of data describing species distributions worldwide. These data include expert species range maps, species occurrence points, ecoregions, and protected areas from providers like IUCN, WWF, GBIF, and more. All data assets are stored, managed, backed up, and accessed using a hosted cloud instance.
- Nature Map Earth: Nature Map Earth is developing an integrated global map of biodiversity, carbon storage, and other dimensions of nature by consolidating and crowd-sourcing data from many sources.
- Movebank: Movebank is a free, online database of animal tracking data hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. We help animal tracking researchers to manage, share, protect, analyze, and archive their data. The animal tracking data in Movebank belongs to researchers all over the world who choose whether and how to share their data with the public.
- Macaulay Library, Cornell Lab of Ornithology): The Macaulay Library is the world’s premier scientific archive of natural history audio, video, and photographs. Although the Macaulay Library’s history is rooted in birds, the collection includes amphibians, fishes, and mammals, and the collection preserves recordings of each species’ behavior and natural history.
- UK’s Center for Ecology and Hydrology data: The Environmental Information Platform provides enhanced access to CEH’s key data holdings via web-based tools, programming interfaces and a data catalogue
- Global Platform of Indigenous and Community Lands: The Global Platform of Indigenous and Community Lands displays georeferenced information on collectively-held and used lands worldwide
- Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA)
- UK Polar Data Centre: The UK Polar Data Centre (UK PDC) is the focal point for Arctic and Antarctic environmental data management in the UK. Part of the Natural Environmental Research Council’s (NERC) network of environmental data centres and based at the British Antarctic Survey, we coordinate the management of polar data from UK-funded research and support researchers in complying with national and international data legislation and policy.
- Antarctic Master Directory by Nasa
- Global Risk Data Platform (PREVIEW): The PREVIEW Global Risk Data Platform is a multiple agencies effort to share spatial data information on global risk from natural hazards. Users can visualise, download or extract data on past hazardous events, human & economical hazard exposure and risk from natural hazards.
- Global Fishing Watch: Global Fishing Watch is promoting ocean sustainability through greater transparency. We use cutting-edge technology to visualise, track and share data about global fishing activity in near real-time and for free.
- Global Ocean Observing System: The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is a sustained collaborative system of ocean observations, encompassing in situ networks, satellite systems, governments, UN agencies and individual scientists
- Sea around us: We present fisheries and fisheries-related data at spatial scales that have ecological and policy relevance, such as by Exclusive Economic Zones, High Seas, or Large Marine Ecosystems.
Resources and Economy
- DataBank: DataBank is an analysis and visualisation tool that contains collections of time series data on a variety of topics. You can create your own queries; generate tables, charts, and maps; and easily save, embed, and share them
- World Bank Data Catalogue: Search and Share Development Data
- IMF: This data set facilitates bilateral and multilateral analysis of cross-border stocks of securities through an array of cross-economies data tables.
- Comtrade Labs: Comtrade Labs is a place to showcase innovative and experimental uses of UN Comtrade data. Explore visualizations of huge volume of data and metadata, cutting-edge data extraction tools, and alternative dissemination platforms.
- Harvard Atlas: The Atlas contains trade data for 250 countries and territories, classified into 20 categories of goods and 5 categories of services. Combined, this results in coverage of over 6000 products worldwide.
- CHRTD: The CHRTD is a repository of bilateral trade in natural resources between more than 200 countries and territories. The database includes the monetary values and masses of trade in over 1,350 different types of natural resources and resource products, including agricultural, fishery and forestry products, fossil fuels, metals and other minerals, and pearls and gemstones. It contains raw materials, intermediate products, and by-products.
- Asia Pacific Energy Portal: The platform’s goal is to facilitate research, analysis, and informed decision-making within the Asia-Pacific region’s energy sector. It is an open-access information platform, providing data visualizations for an extensive set of energy statistics, full-text policies, and interactive infrastructure maps.
- Fao:The databases within FAO cover a broad spectrum of topics related to food security and agriculture
- FAS’s PSD Online data: FAS’s PSD Online data for those commodities published in the WASDE Report are reviewed and updated monthly by an interagency committee chaired by USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB), and consisting of: the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the Economic Research Service (ERS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA), and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
- Resource Watch: Resource Watch features hundreds of data sets all in one place on the state of the planet’s resources and citizens. Users can visualize challenges facing people and the planet, from climate change to poverty, water risk to state instability, air pollution to human migration, and more.
- MIT Observatory of Economic Complexity : The Observatory of Economic Complexity is a tool that allows users to quickly compose a visual narrative about countries and the products they exchange
Tracking UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
- Global Pulse Labs: Pulse Labs bring together government experts, UN agencies, academia and the private sector to pioneer new methods and frameworks for for using Big Data to support development goals.
- Datatopics by Worldbank
- SDG Index and Dashboards
- UN Stats SDGs: This platform provides access to data compiled through the UN System in preparation for the Secretary-General’s annual report on “Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals”
- Climate Watch Data: Identify potential alignment between the targets, actions, policy measures and needs in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Environment Situation Room
- Data4SDGs: The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data is a global network bringing together governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations dedicated to using the data revolution to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Global Sustainability Reporting Data: The Search area provides users access to all types of sustainability reports, whether GRI-based or otherwise, and relevant information related to the reporting organizations
- UN Global Pulse: UN Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of the United Nations to harness big data, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies for sustainable development and humanitarian action
- Environmental Democracy Index: The Environmental Democracy Index was developed by The Access Initiative (TAI) and World Resources Institute (WRI) in collaboration with partners around the world. The index evaluates 70 countries, across 75 legal indicators, based on objective and internationally recognized standards established by the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Bali Guidelines.
- Ireland’s Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018–2020
- UK data for Sustainable Development Goal indicators
- U.S. National Statistics for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals
Citizen Science Platforms
- eBird: eBird is the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project, with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed each year by eBirders around the world
- iNaturalist: INaturalist is a citizen science project and online social network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe
- Zooniverse: The Zooniverse enables everyone to take part in real cutting edge research in many fields across the sciences, humanities, and more. The Zooniverse creates opportunities for you to unlock answers and contribute to real discoveries.
- Wikipedia List of Citizen Science Platforms