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Google and partners create deforestation tracker

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Google is looking to spread awareness about deforestation with a program being launched today. To do that, the’ve partnered with a large group to create what is being called a ‘near-real-time’ deforestation tracker. Right before your very eyes, you can see just how many trees have hit the ground by man’s hand since 2000.

The global mapping service, called Global Forest Watch, was created by 39 partners in addition to Google, including the World Resources Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme. Using Google Tech and NASA satellites, the software is able to track information using logging and palm oil licenses.

The director of World Resource Institute’s global forest initiation notes how helpful Google’s participation has been, “The Google Earth Engine and the Google cloud enable us, working with them, to analyze and interpret global data sets in hours that would have previously taken us years and years”

Previously, the lack of accurate and timely data meant that it could take months before authorities were aware of deforestation. By that time, it was too late to reverse the damage done.

This gives anyone the ability to see areas clearly and even zoom in close enough to see individual trees in some areas. The algorithms even give users the ability to analyze by tree type, if it’s in a protected area and by time period.

This software will play a large role in the business world, as businesses are now attempting to pull back from becoming associated with deforestation, as Nestle was in 2010.

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