- measure land change
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Trends.Earth (formerly the Land Degradation Monitoring Toolbox) is a tool for monitoring land change. Trends.Earth is a QGIS plugin that supports monitoring of land change, including changes in productivity, land cover, and soil organic carbon. The tool can support monitoring land degradation for reporting to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), as well as tracking progress towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3, Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).

Trends.Earth was produced as an output of the GEF-funded project “Enabling the use of global data sources to assess and monitor land degradation at multiple scales”. The project aims to provide guidance on robust methods and a tool for assessing, monitoring status, and estimating trends in land degradation using remote sensing technology.

The Land Degradation Monitoring Project is a collaboration of Conservation International, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Lund University.


See the user guide for information on how to use the plugin.


Stable version (recommended)

The easiest way to install the plugin is from within QGIS, using the QGIS plugin repository.

Development version

If you are interested in using the very latest version of the plugin, or in contributing to the development of it, you will want to install the development version. There are two ways to install the development version:

  • Using a packaged version (zipfile)

  • Cloning the github repository and installing from that code

It is easier to install the plugin from a zipfile than from github, so this option is recommended unless you are interested in contributing to development of the plugin.

Installing the latest packaged version

Download the latest Trends.Earth zipfile.

Extract to the python plugins folder for your installation of QGIS. For example, if you are using Windows and your username is "azvol", then this might be C:\Users\azvol\.qgis2\python\plugins. If you are using a Mac and your username is "azvol", then this might be /Users/azvol/.qgis2/python/plugins.

Once you are finished, you should have a folder named "LDMP" within your .qgis2/python/plugins folder.

Start QGIS, and click on "Plugins" then "Manage and install plugins". In the plugins window that appears, click on "Installed", and then make sure there is a check in the box next to "Land Degradation Monitoring Tool". The plugin is now installed and activated. Click "Close", and start using the plugin.

Installing the very latest code from github

Open a terminal window and clone the latest version of the repository from Github:

git clone

Navigate to the root folder of the newly cloned repository, and install paver, a tool that assists with installing the plugin:

pip install paver

Now run the setup task with paver to pull in the external dependencies needed for the project:

paver setup

Once paver setup has run, you can install the plugin using paver:

paver install

If you modify the code, you need to run paver install to update the installed plugin in QGIS. You only need to rerun paver setup if you change or update the plugin dependencies. After reinstalling the plugin you will need to restart QGIS or reload the plugin. Install the "Plugin reloader" plugin if you plan on making a log of changes (


Trends.Earth is free and open-source. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2.0 or later.