Feb 20, 2014

Monitoring the World's Forests with Global Forest Watch

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By the time we find out about deforestation, it’s usually too late to take action.

Scientists have been studying forests for centuries, chronicling the vital importance of these ecosystems for human society. But most of us still lack timely and reliable information about where, when, and why forests are disappearing.

This is about to change with the launch of “Global Forest Watch”:http://www.globalforestwatch.org/—an online forest monitoring system created by the World Resources Institute, Google and a group of more than 40 partners. Global Forest Watch uses technologies including Google Earth Engine and Google Maps Engine to map the world’s forests with satellite imagery, detect changes in forest cover in near-real-time, and make this information freely available to anyone with Internet access.

By accessing the most current and reliable information, everyone can learn what’s happening in forests around the world. Now that we have the ability to peer into forests, a number of telling stories are beginning to emerge.