Monday, June 04, 2012

Detecting Deforestation with Google Maps

The Global Forest Disturbance Alert System provides data on forest disturbance globally on a quarterly basis.

Using Google Maps the system pinpoints areas that are being deforested on a quarterly basis. The system compares MODIS global vegetation index images at the exact same time period each year in consecutive years. It registers change when more than 40 percent of a forest area has lost greenness over the previous 12 months.

The red markers on the map show the centre point of the detected areas. The cause(s) of any forest disturbance points detected have not been confirmed by other means so consequently the system provides little information above the actual locations of possible deforestation.

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