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Google Earth Tracks Global Deforestation

2 December 2010 2:31 PM, PST | Fast Company | See recent Fast Company news »

Leave it to Google to launch one of the most impressive innovations at this week's International Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. The search engine giant announced the birth of Google Earth Engine, a technology platform that leverages 25 years of satellite images from Landsat (the longest continuously orbiting satellite around Earth) to track and measure the planet's environment.

The platform, which debuted as a prototype last year, does everything from mapping water resources to tracking deforestation--a practice that accounts for 12 to 18 percent of worldwide yearly greenhouse gas emissions. It comes with some impressive features, including tools that remove clouds and haze from images and the ability to run complicated analyses using Google's massive computing infrastructure.

Google Earth Engine has already proven its mettle with the finest-scale forest cover and water map of Mexico generated to date. Produced in collaboration with scientist Matt Hansen and Mexico’s National Forestry Commission, the »

- Ariel Schwartz

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1 item from 2010


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