Monday, July 29, 2019

See the Deforestation in Your Town

In July Brasil is set to lose an area of rainforest which is bigger than the size of Greater London. During last year's election Jair Bolsonaro was heavily supported by Brazil’s agribusiness and mining interests. Since becoming president the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has grown, disastrously for the rest of the planet.

If you are struggling to understand the rate and the scale of this deforestation in the Amazon then you can use a new interactive map which allows you to compare the size of the area deforested in July to your own neighborhood and city. In the first three weeks of this month more than 1,260 square kilometers of the Amazon were lost. Using Deforested you can see how big an area 1,260 square kilometers actually is by overlaying an area of that size over your own town

When you first load Deforested a small circle begins to grow on top of the location that you have chosen. As the map animation plays out the area effected by deforestation expands and grows. A timeline below the map shows the amount of time that has passed as this circle grows. You can therefore see on the map how much of the Amazon has been lost in 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day, 1 month etc. You can also click on this timeline to instantly jump to different time periods.

If you really want to scare yourself then skip forward and see how much of the Amazon is lost every year.

This type of size comparison tool can be a very effective visualization of scale. A size comparison map provides an easy to understand scale for an area which might otherwise be hard to comprehend. Recently the Center for Biological Diversity also released a size comparison map. In their case to visualize the size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Ocean Plastics Pollution is a very powerful visualization of the amount of plastic we have thrown into the oceans.

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