A collection of views, news, opinions, lessons and observations about Kenyan Forests. You will find the latest on world forestry and its impacts on Kenya here. You are welcome to be part of the discussions. Please drop your comments and suggestions.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
REDD Yet-to-be-released online mapping tool could make monitoring deforestation easy as Google
We’ve written before about a climate-related effort in developing countries known as REDD – or Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation. So one of the outcomes during last month’sU.N. climate conference that I found particularly interesting was anannouncement from Google.org. During the conference in Copenhagen, the search giant's philanthropic arm introduced the prototype for an online application that will allow monitoring of forests around the planet.
Apparently, some believed that the overall topic of REDD may have been one of the few bright spots during the two-week conference. To me, it seems like this forthcoming online monitoring tool is no exception – particularly because Google products are often innovative, easy to use and reliable.
The announcement generated quite bit of media buzz, and Google.org’s press release has a nice explanation of why the online application, likely available to the public some time this year, might be so significant:
Traditional forest monitoring is complex and expensive, requiring access to large amounts of satellite data, lots of hard drives to hold the data, lots of computers to process the data, and lots of time while you wait for various computations to finish. … Google supplies data, storage, and computing muscle. As a result, you can visualize forest change in fractions of a second over the web, instead of the minutes or hours that traditional offline systems require for such analysis.