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A recent study mapped the world’s dry forests using a relatively new tool that combines creative satellite image analysis with local- and national-scale knowledge.
Natural resource agencies worldwide inventory their country’s vegetation cover, land uses, and forest carbon stocks in order to quantify the extent and impacts of land use change as well as their progress toward commitments to international treaties. However, they often lack the tools to compile and analyze the necessary data on land use change…
The drylands researchers, led by Jean-François Bastin of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), used Collect Earth, a free, open-source platform that facilitates access to multiple freely available archives of satellite imagery. It is a plug-in for Google Earth that enables visual photo interpretation of very high spatial and temporal resolution satellite imagery, made available through three repositories: Google Earth, Google Earth Engine, and Bing Maps. This effort also partners with NASA, USGS, USFS, WRI.