Monday, April 13, 2009

How remote sensing and Google Earth have changed the game for global conservation efforts; Earth; 4/13/09

Remote sensing and conservation - USA
While most remote sensing work remains the domain of specialists, the emergence of Google Earth has leveled the playing field, offering the potential that Google Earth can do for remote sensing what the iPod did for digital music—reach and engage the masses. In the process it is enhancing the ability of researchers to communicate their work to policy makers, other scientists, and most importantly the general public.
One of the early Google Earth Outreach projects involved indigenous tribes in the Amazon rainforest. Facing an onslaught of threats to their forest lands and culture, the tribes have embraced advanced technology as a means to protect and better manage their rainforest homeland. The tribes—including the Surui in western Brazil and the Wayana and Trio in Suriname, are using GPS to map their lands and plot rivers, sites of spiritual significance, and their resources, including medicinal plants and rich hunting grounds.

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