US: Google, in partnership with the University of Maryland and the UN Environment Programme, has developed a tool to help prevent deforestation. Global Forest Watch 2.0, which will launch later this year, is an interactive, real-time, forest monitoring system. It uses satellite technology, data sharing and human networks around the world to provide information to better managing forests.
Google Earth Engine’s team provides access to cloud computing-based forest cover information. Meanwhile, high-speed internet connectivity enables sending data and forest maps processed in North America, Europe or Singapore to laptops and mobile phones in Jakarta, Kinshasa, Lima, Vladivostok and around the globe. Also, smartphones can be used by anyone in the field to download maps and satellite images, as well as upload GPS coordinates and photographs from the ground.
In addition, crowdsourcing using simple web interfaces allows large numbers of people to gather and share information, participate in forest monitoring, and hold decision-makers accountable. Social media outlets can spread information quickly, help communities organize and mobilize people to act.
Source: Environmental Leader