Global 4-class PALSAR-2/PALSAR Forest/Non-Forest Map

Dataset Availability
Dataset Provider
Earth Engine Snippet
alos alos2 classification eroc forest jaxa landcover palsar palsar2 sar


The global forest/non-forest map (FNF) is generated by classifying the SAR image (backscattering coefficient) in the global 25m resolution PALSAR-2/PALSAR SAR mosaic so that strong and low backscatter pixels are assigned as "forest" and "non-forest", respectively. Here, "forest" is defined as the natural forest with the area larger than 0.5 ha and forest cover over 10%. This definition is the same as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) definition. Since the radar backscatter from the forest depends on the region (climate zone), the classification of Forest/Non-Forest is conducted by using a region-dependent threshold of backscatter. The classification accuracy is checked by using in-situ photos and high-resolution optical satellite images.

Detailed information:


  • Backscatter values may vary significantly from path to path over high latitude forest areas. This is due to the change of backscattering intensity caused by freezing trees in winter. Please note that this may affect the classification of forest/non-forest.


25 meters


Name Min Max Description
fnf 1 4

Forest/Non-Forest landcover classification

fnf Class Table

Value Color Description
1 #00b200 Dense Forest
2 #83ef62 Non-dense Forest
3 #ffff99 Non-Forest
4 #0000ff Water

Terms of Use

Terms of Use

JAXA retains ownership of the dataset and cannot guarantee any problem caused by or possibly caused by using the datasets. Anyone wishing to publish any results using the datasets should clearly acknowledge the ownership of the data in the publication.


  • Masanobu Shimada, Takuya Itoh, Takeshi Motooka, Manabu Watanabe, Shiraishi Tomohiro, Rajesh Thapa, and Richard Lucas, "New Global Forest/Non-forest Maps from ALOS PALSAR Data (2007-2010)", Remote Sensing of Environment, 155, pp. 13-31, December 2014. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2014.04.014.

Explore with Earth Engine

Code Editor (JavaScript)

var dataset = ee.ImageCollection('JAXA/ALOS/PALSAR/YEARLY/FNF4')
                  .filterDate('2018-01-01', '2018-12-31');
var forestNonForest ='fnf');
var forestNonForestVis = {
  min: 1,
  max: 4,
  palette: ['00b200','83ef62','ffff99','0000ff'],
Map.setCenter(136.85, 37.37, 4);
Map.addLayer(forestNonForest, forestNonForestVis, 'Forest/Non-Forest');
Open in Code Editor