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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Google Map Allows You to Watch Worldwide Deforestation in Real Time


High resolutions Google map offers an opportunity to monitor forest growth and decline worldwide.  The University of Maryland offers this interactive map to help people understand how their environment is changing. There was a total of 2.3 million square kilometers lost and .8 million kilometers gained. Brazil was one of the best countries on ending deforestation while Indonesia experienced the most loss.

Such interactive and constantly updating maps offer an opportunity to understand global climate change and pollution reduction effects in history. Each time the satellites pass the earth, they collect pictures of the forest changes. Scientists believe that this information will help policy makers understand the benefits and detractors of certain policies.

The benefit of technology and Google computing power helps solves problems. Even though deforestation can come from many different causes some of the most notable are deforestation and climate change. Sometimes these decisions are based in poverty to create more farmland, coal, and burnable fuel for homes.


Most of the images are taken from the U.S. Geological Survey's Landsat 7 satellite and were offered for analysis. A sort of partnership between government and business. The cost of developing such open systems is declining and some businesses have taken a first hand in trying to understand big problems. This map allows people to see the overall success or failure of decisions on a global scale. We are slowly moving from a local to a global development concept and that may make all the difference. 

Hansen, et. al. (November 2013). High-resolution global maps of the 21st-century forest cover change. Science, 342 (6160). Read Here



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