FAQs

What is Resource Watch?

Resource Watch is a dynamic platform that provides trusted and timely data for a sustainable future. Resource Watch features hundreds of data sets all in one place on the state of the planet’s resources and citizens. Users can visualize challenges facing people and the planet, from climate change to poverty, water risk to state instability, air pollution to human migration, and more.

Why might some data layers contradict each other or not overlap correctly?

Different data sets measure different things, are derived using different methodologies, cover a different moment in time, or have different spatial resolutions. Be sure to read the details about the methodology and scale underpinning each data set before drawing conclusions.

Can I download and use the data?

Yes, Resource Watch data are free and open to use for your own analysis. Users can access links to download data from the data set detail page and also find information on the licensing of the data.

How do I cite Resource Watch data as a source?

Please either cite the original source as noted on the data set detail page or use “Resource Watch. 20xx. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. www.resourcewatch.org.”

How frequently are the data updated?

We strive to make available the most up-to-date data for each topic and issue we cover. The frequency of data updates varies by the data source. Some data are updated every hour, some every 12 hours, some monthly, some annually, and some less frequently. The data set detail page will state the frequency.

Where do the data come from?

The data on Resource Watch come from various sources, including governments, intergovernmental organizations, research institutions, and scientific publications. The Resource Watch team works with experts to select data sets that are reliable and relevant to global sustainability challenges. Learn more about our curation process in our Data Policy.

Why should I trust Resource Watch data?

We have a rigorous data collection process, guided by WRI’s independent, nonpartisan experts. Data on Resource Watch must come from established sources and be peer-reviewed or based on a transparent established methodology. Learn more about our curation process in our Data Policy. We strive to make the best data available. If you see something that could be improved, please let us know.

What should I do if I believe a data set is inaccurate or know that better data exist?

We’re always looking for the best open data available for Resource Watch. Please contact us at or send us a note at [email protected].

Who designed this website?

The Resource Watch website was designed and built by Vizzuality. Learn more at Vizzuality.com.

How is Resource Watch different from other WRI data platforms?

Resource Watch includes a much wider range of environmental and socioeconomic data than WRI’s more focused platforms such as Global Forest Watch, Climate Watch, and Aqueduct. You can find these platforms and more in the App Gallery.

What updates are coming soon?

We’re working on adding new data and features every day. Let us know what you’d like to see next, or sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates.

Who convened the Resource Watch partnership?

Convened by World Resources Institute, Resource Watch was developed by a partnership of organizations. “Resource Watch” refers to the online platform and the partnership of entities that created and sustain the initiative, and not to any one organization.

Who can use Resource Watch?

Anyone can use Resource Watch, but Resource Watch was designed with the following audiences in mind: government staff, business analysts, journalists, and researchers. Learn more about what you can do with Resource Watch.

How accurate are the data on Resource Watch?

Accuracy and resolution vary by data set. Many of the data sets on Resource Watch are global. Higher resolution data may be available elsewhere at the national or subnational levels. You can find information and links to the source on each data set on its detail page, or learn more about our curation process in our Data Policy.

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