The Tier 2 interface is being developed for users with basic or advanced familiarity with computer coding and ecological, earth science, and hydrological modeling. These users can operate at the coding prompt level or through basic interactive interfaces developed using the shiny web application network and the leaflet package for R (Cheng and Xie, 2017; Cheng et al., 2017). This tier will provide more flexibility in the processing of the information and a higher level of customization in the analysis.

Up to now, we have crafted two fully documented prototype versions of R packages: forestChange and aRn.

Former package ‘forestChange’ can derive Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBV) by processing open-source data of Global Forest Change (GFC)(Hansen, 2013) . Up to now, the package can compute two EBV metrics: forest extents and forest fragmentation indices. The forest extents are computed cropping the GFC data using either Geographic Administrative Units (GADM), or other user-defined polygons. Automatic processing of GADM enables implementation of the package at almost any administrative unit along the world. The fragmentation indices are computed using fractal dimensions and thresholds from percolation theory (Taubert, 2018).

Second package aRn contains procedures for Automatic Radiometric Normalization (aRn) of either multi- or hyper-spectral data layers such as shared by Earth Explorer USGS (EE). This package is being tested before it can be published in CRAN, and it will be released in following months.