Oxford Long-Term Ecology Lab

Long-Term Ecology, Biodiversity Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship Technologies

LEFT automatically processes a series of high-quality datasets using standard published algorithms


We are delighted to announce the launch of the Local Ecological Footprinting Tool (LEFT) – the latest development phase of our web-based decision support tool for assessing risk in environmental management – https://www.left.ox.ac.uk/ (see brief details below) – previous iterations of which have already delivered critical benefits in business applications and academic research over the last four years.

Many of you have already used the Tool during its pre-launch free access period.

You are warmly invited to the launch and reception. There will be an opportunity of seeing how the tool works, discussing the science behind it, and hearing how some of our industry partners have used it.

Our launch event marks the point at which the Tool’s commercial pricing will be announced, along with its parameters for free academic usage.

The event is also an opportunity for networking with people who share a need to minimise the environmental impacts of their business activities when they make decisions about how land is used.

The launch will take place from 5:00-6:30 on Friday 7th October at the Oxford Martin School, www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk – 34 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BD.

Please forgive the short notice of this event. Availability of the excellent facilities at the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford have just become available, and we thought that you would like us to take advantage of this opportunity.

To book a place please email: sharon.cornwell@zoo.ox.ac.uk 

With best wishes,

Professor Kathy Willis



LEFT in brief

The Local Ecological Footprinting Tool (LEFT) is a web-based decision support tool which can help businesses minimise the environmental impacts of their activities when making land-use change decisions. It works for almost any region in the world and uses freely available satellite imagery, biotic and abiotic data from existing global databases, models and algorithms to deliver a customised report for a selected area.  LEFT automatically processes a series of high-quality datasets using standard published algorithms to produce a customised report containing:

  • maps at 30m resolution of land cover classes
  • numbers of globally threatened terrestrial vertebrate and plant species
  • beta-diversity of terrestrial vertebrates and plants
  • habitat fragmentation
  • wetland habitat connectivity
  • numbers of migratory species
  • vegetation resilience

Results are also aggregated to produce a summary map demonstrating areas of high and low ecological value across the selected area. LEFT has been designed to be intuitive to use, requiring no specialised software or user expertise. Input is extremely easy and requires the user to highlight the area of interest on a map or using grid co-ordinates. Output is delivered via e-mail and comprises a customised PDF containing the maps and a zip file of GIS data for the area requested. Results are delivered to users by email.

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