FAO and Google Maps Join Hands to Combat Climate Change

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Earth observation satellites can transform the way countries can assess, monitor and plan the use of their natural resources, including monitoring deforestation and desertification. However, many countries still rely on time-consuming and error-prone manual methods. There is an opportunity to allow these countries to improve operations with cost-effective solutions.

Looking at this opportunity, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and Google Maps have entered into a three-year partnership to work together and make remote sensing and mapping products more accessible. The move aims to provide technology to assist countries tackling climate change and much higher capacity to experts developing forest and land-use policies.

The partnership between Google Maps and FAO is designed to foster innovation and expertise, and broaden access to easy-to-use digital tools. The collaboration will boost the visibility and implementation of efforts to encourage sustainable environmental practices around the world.

According to Rebecca Moore, Director, Google Earth, Earth Engine & Earth Outreach, the partnership is powerful because it unites the complementary strengths of UN FAO and Google. While FAO has decades of experience working on the ground in hundreds of countries on thousands of projects, Google technology is at the cutting edge of big data, cloud computing, and transformative mapping tools.

The FAO Collect Earth application builds on top of Google Earth and Earth Engine to provide a simple but powerful global and national forest carbon monitoring tool, empowering countries as diverse as Chile, Panama, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Tunisia and Bhutan.

Google Maps will provide 1,200 trusted tester credentials on Google Earth Engine to FAO staff and partners, while also providing training and receiving feedback on users’ needs and experiences. FAO will train its own staff and technical experts in member countries to use Google technology. The partnership will broaden the focus to monitor dry lands and agricultural crop productivity.

Source: Spatial Source

Image Credit: Flickr via natasha.tricks at btinternet.com