Google Partners With University of Maryland, NASA, And USGS On Global Deforestation Map

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Google has partnered with researchers at the University of Maryland, NASA, and the USGS to bring the first high-resolution map of global deforestation using Google Earth Engine. This project was created using over a decade of Landsat images.  This will help public, NGOs, and governments around the world to learn more about forestry practices and find ways to prevent unwanted deforestation.

“People will use this data in ways we can’t even imagine today,” stated Matthew Hansen, Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Maryland.

This tool was built using 654,178 Landsat images.  It required so much processing power that it would have taken one computer 15 years to pull off the task.  But recent gains in computing technology helped create high-resolution maps that are scalable down to 30 meters.

Below are some examples of what the deforestation maps look like:

Hansen_Global Forest_Change_480x270px_animated

[Global Forest Change, 2000-2012]

Hansen_Forest_Loss_Riau_480x270px_animated

[Sumatra has lost over 50% of its natural forest within the past 30 years]

You can learn more about this project on the Google Research blog.

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