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Welcome to World Wildlife Fund’s interactive map of the Plowprint report for the North American Great Plains. These data represent a cumulative footprint of cropland conversion, and the habitat that remains, across the heartland of the continent.
Please check out the map below. The map takes a few seconds to load in.
To navigate the map, check the layer(s) of interest from the table of contents. Descriptions of each dataset are available by hovering over the “i” information button. Within each dataset, accessible through the dropdown (“v”) menus, you may select the year of data to view and the opacity of the data on the map. Choose an Administrative Boundary of interest from the table of contents to load additional geographic borders and to generate Plowprint statistics for your region of interest. After choosing an administrative boundary, click inside that boundary on the map to access the “Run Analysis” function. Note that results will only include the top boundary selected. For example, if both “Counties and Municipalities” and “States and Provinces” are selected, the analysis will only run for the County boundary because this layer is listed first in the table of contents.
The search box in the upper right corner is a quick way to zoom to a specific location, however please note this does not select the specific location for analysis. On desktop devices, clicking the “Analyze” button in the upper right corner of the map allows you to draw a custom boundary (up to 5 million acres) or upload your own shapefile (zipped and in WGS84 projection), as well as pick which years to analyze. After you have analyzed an administrative boundary or your own custom boundary, you can view or download summarized data as a PDF report with charts or as an Excel spreadsheet with numerical data for a geography of interest by clicking the desired link.
There are five base maps available including imagery, street maps, and hillshade. Change the base map using the button in the bottom right corner of the map or upper left corner of phones (after selecting a map, click the button again to minimize the menu).
Questions about the map or data? Check out the reports available on our main website, https://www.worldwildlife.org/plowprint.
Disclaimer regarding delayed classification in 2020 data
Between years 2019 and 2020, an improvement in the source data used for the Plowprint analysis identified a significant expansion in row crop acreage that was previously classified as roads. This area was not newly converted but reflected the continual increase in accuracy and alignment of the imagery used to classify land cover. Further analysis determined that roughly 30% of the 2019-2020 annual expansion in the CEC Great Plains (14% in the Northern Great Plains) resulted from the delayed classification. The 2020 Plowprint data shown in the map below includes the delayed classification and is therefore spatially correct, however, calculated acreages for “annual expansion” including the year 2020 will be artificially inflated. Numbers presented in the 2021 Plowprint Report reflect the annual expansion not including delayed classification to portray the actual increase in the Plowprint footprint.