Google launches deforestation watch website

Google today launched Global Forest Watch, a new website that lets you see how the forests of the world have been cut down over the past 14 years. They partnered with the World Resources Institute and other organizations to create the map, which allows you to track deforestation around the world. [Los Angeles Times]

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  1. Am I misinterpreting something, or are they measuring "deforestation" down to the gain or loss of single trees in some places?

    I zoomed in on my neighborhood. There was a big reddish blotch, maybe 30x30 pixels, where they put in a new subdevelopment a few years ago--okay. But then I noticed there were both red and blue one-pixel spots in my own area, where the houses are all 30+ years old and there hasn't been any other development. The pixels would be considerably smaller than individual yards at that magnification.

    Is that what's going on, or is it just noisy data? I guess technologically there's no obstacle to literally counting every individually distinguishable tree, I'm just surprised.

  2. Why on hell I need to apply to a Terms & Conditions document to see a MAP?!

    No sir, I'm done accepting EULAs.

  3. Kimmo says:

    I'm curious to see, but I know it'd depress the hell out of me, so I won't look.

    Who accepts them? We tolerate them; it's Hobson's choice.

    Unless you can find deforestation mapz...

  4. gweb says:

    Keep in mind that the deforestation in western Canada is mainly due to the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation than has decimated our forests. The lumber companies are taking down this timber, but replanting more than they take down, in order to keep themselves alive further down the road.

    FWIW, I work for a very large lumber company in western Canada, but am not in any way an authorized representative.

  5. You click agree to the T&C, then a box pops up demanding that you acknowledge that you clicked agree.

    Seriously, those people need to loosen up.

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