Tools for Working with Hansen et al. Global Forest Change Dataset

Supports analyses using the Global Forest Change dataset released by Hansen et al. gfcanalysis was originally written for the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network. For additional details on the Global Forest Change dataset, see: Hansen, M. et al. 2013. "High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change." Science 342 (15 November): 850-53. The forest change data and more information on the product is available at <>.

Build Status


The gfcanalysis package facilitates analyses of forest change using the Global Forest Change dataset released by Hansen et al. 2013. The package was designed to support the work of the Tropical Ecology Assessment & Monitoring (TEAM) Network.

Package Installation

Release Version

To install the release version of gfcanalysis in R, just run:


Development Version

The easiest way to install the development version of the gfcanalysis package is using the devtools package. After installing devtools, type:



There are two example scripts demonstrating how to use the gfcanalysis package:

  • For those new to R, see the install_gfcanalysis.R script. This script provides guidance on how to download and install the (development version) of the package in R.

  • For an example of how to run the package to calculate forest change statistics for a given area of interest (AOI), see the examples in analyze_gfc.R.

Author Contact Information

Alex Zvoleff
Director, Data Science
Vital Signs
Conservation International
2011 Crystal Dr. Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22202


Hansen, M. C., P. V. Potapov, R. Moore, M. Hancher, S. A. Turubanova, A. Tyukavina, D. Thau, S. V. Stehman, S. J. Goetz, T. R. Loveland, A. Kommareddy, A. Egorov, L. Chini, C. O. Justice, and J. R. G. Townshend. 2013. High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change. Science 342, (15 November): 850--853. Data available on-line from:


gfcanalysis 1.4

  • Add option to download only certain layers.

  • Add data_year argument to support new dataset versions.

  • Misc doc and CRAN check fixes.

gfcanalysis 1.2

  • Fix output as GeoTIFF with LZW compression. Smaller file sizes are advantageous when analyzing large areas.

  • Upgrade to roxygen2 > 4.0.2

  • Switch to gConvexHull in calc_gfc_tiles to avoid potential errors from gUnaryUnion.

gfcanalysis 1.1

  • Move "snow" from Suggests to Enhances

  • Update inst/examples/analyze_GFC.R to test or "snow"

gfcanalysis 1.0

  • Initial release to CRAN.

Reference manual

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1.6.0 by Matthew Cooper, a year ago

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Browse source code at

Authors: Matthew Cooper [cre] , Alex Zvoleff [aut]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

GPL (>= 3) license

Imports rgdal, geosphere, RCurl, rgeos, plyr, ggplot2, grid, sp, stringr, animation, rasterVis

Depends on raster, methods

Suggests sf

See at CRAN