A new online technology from Google called Google Earth Engine allows scientists and researchers to track environmental changes by analyzing 25 years worth of images from the LANDSAT satellite, the longest continually orbiting satellite on earth.
The new project, which will be posted online for free, was introduced at the COP16 talks in Cancun last week and will include applications that monitor and measure deforestation, land use trends, water resources and more. In honor of the conference's location, the first major creation of Google Earth Engine is the most comprehensive scale map of Mexico's forest and water resources to date.
Google officials touted the power of Google Earth Engine by saying that the amount of data processed in the Mexico map would have taken three years using a single computer, but only took one day with this new platform (1,000 computers in parallel processed more than 53,000 LANDSAT scenes from 1984 - 2010).
To kick-off the project's launch, the company is offering 20 million CPU hours free to developing nations and scientific organizations to utilize this new tool.
The technology was developed by Google.org, the company's philanthropic arm, and according to Google officials, will show the public how the earth is changing under a changing climate and hopefully drive public policy.
via Washington Post