The Monitoring Platform

ESMERALDA-TRACKER is a monitoring platform using the latest in Geographical Information System (GIS) technology and Earth observation data analysis based on the fusion and extension of VtWeb and HERMOSA.
It is currently being adapted to the needs of land restoration projects in the context of the Great Green Wall Initiative in Africa. However, it can also be easily implemented for projects in other parts of the world where there is a need to neutralise land degradation.

How does it work?

VtWeb and HERMOSA are both web-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) capable of ingesting, storing, processing and visualising large amounts of spatially explicit data, very often derived from Earth-orbiting satellites.
By accessing and analysing this high spatial and temporal resolution Earth observation data, the systems are able to observe the status quo in an area of interest. By repeating this analysis for the area of interest and then comparing two or more sets of data acquired at different times, a map of changes in the area can be produced. Combining these maps over time produces what is known as a time series, which can be analysed statistically. The technical possibilities outlined above result in quantifiable data that create transparency and traceability of activities on the ground.


Both VtWeb and HERMOSA are operational systems that already contain data from projects under development in Cameroon, Nigeria, Rwanda and Senegal. ESMERALDA-TRACKER supports the identification of project areas by providing relevant geographical data on soils, forests, geomorphology, hydrology, population, infrastructure, etc.
Once a project has been selected for further development, further data, including satellite data, is stored and analysed in these systems. Once a project is operational in the long term, ESMERALDA-TRACKER is used for monitoring.