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Google Launches a Deforestation Map to Track All the Trees We’re Killing

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology
Yahoo Tech

Google was already trying to fix the nation’s Internet connections and reinvent the way phones can see. Now it’s attempting to save the world’s dying trees.

In collaboration with the World Resources Institute, Google released a map this week that visualizes the trees our world has gained and lost in almost real time. It uses tools from both Google Maps and Google Earth to illustrate the startling environmental damage that our forests have endured over the years, sourcing its information from NASA and other tracking organizations. The goal is to allow governments, law enforcement agencies and conservationists to monitor losses so they can quickly take action to curb environmental damage.

As the GIF above demonstrates, there hasn’t been much curbing happening for the past 13 years. Since this data became available in 2000, forests have rapidly disappeared. The pink on the map above denotes our losses, and the blue—which is virtually unidentifiable—denotes our gains.

Take a look at a few of these snapshots. It’s pretty sad to see all that pink.

I plan to pass this map along to my neighbor who doesn’t recycle with this note:

Dear Jenna,

See what you’ve done to this world?

Best,
Alyssa in 3F

You can read more about Google’s deforestation monitoring efforts here

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