Indonesia possesses one of the largest tropical forests after the Amazonian in Brazil and the tropical rainforest of the Republic of Congo, representing 10% of the remaining tropical forests in the world (FWI/GFW, 2002). With total terrestrial areas of 187.9 million hectares, the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry (MoF) noted that 133.7 million hectares or more than 70% areas were designated as forests (MoF, 2006).
Compared to other South East Asian countries, Indonesia has the highest deforestation rate, and this is of major local and global concern (MoF, 2002). We noted that about 1.87 million ha/year of Indonesian forests were deforested from 1985 to 1997. This situation worsened during a severe drought event of El Nino in 1997 – 1998 causing sporadic and devastating fires in most tropical rainforests in South East Asian region, especially in Indonesia (Page et al., 2002).
Monitoring of forest resources is essential to assess their carrying capacity and to observe the dynamics of forest cover changes. Mapping of forest cover is an ultimate way to assess forest cover changes and to study the forest resource within a period of time (Wijaya et al., 2008).
Global Forest Watch (GFW) is an online platform which is available for public providing, among others, near real time forest cover loss across tropics. GFW is a collaboration more than 100 partners and organizations to apply cross-cutting satellite technology and data, supported by huge computing facility hosted by Google.