Seeing is believing in the fight against climate change

<div class=”block-paragraph”><div class=”rich-text”><p>In 2005, more than a thousand of acres of land in my hometown in the Santa Cruz mountains were under threat from a proposed logging contract that would have severely damaged our ecosystem by tearing down ancient Redwoods, increasing potential fire danger and endangering public safety. As part of the community group Neighbors Against Irresponsible Logging, I <a href=”http://ift.tt/2vy1CZg”>used Google Earth to build a flyover of the area</a> to show how closely this logging would take place to residential life, and the dangers it would create. Making geographic data visible and easily intelligible helped to bring together the community to defeat the logging proposal. Seeing is often believing.</p><p>That’s the core mission behind Google Earth. We aim to build the most detailed and realistic <a href=”http://ift.tt/V2NDoI”>digital replica</a> of our <a href=”http://ift.tt/2fgKJMo”>changing planet</a> and make it universally accessible to the public—a utility for all. We’re trying to fix what former Vice President Al Gore, in his <a href=”http://ift.tt/2u9tIXj”>speech on the Digital Earth</a>, called the challenge of “turning raw data into understandable information.”</p>Emerging technologies like our own Google Earth Engine and Google Cloud Machine Learning, and artificial intelligence in general are doing just that: empowering scientists and practitioners to create solutions at the cutting edge of global sustainability, and turning the mountains of geo-data we have into the insights and knowledge needed to guide better decision-making. This work helps drive adoption of renewable energy technologies such as <a href=”http://ift.tt/2vyqqQZ”>solar</a&#062;, and allows us to better understand and manage the world’s <a href=”http://ift.tt/29952FY”>forests</a&#062;, <a href=”http://ift.tt/2vy7RMx”>oceans</a&#062;, <a href=”http://ift.tt/2h75V6X”>water</a&#062; and <a href=”http://ift.tt/2vy04yt”>air</a&#062;.</div></div>
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<figcaption><div class=”rich-text”><a href=”http://ift.tt/1wZ5Ann”>Global Fishing Watch</a> using big geo-data and machine learning to support sustainable fisheries</div></figcaption>

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<figcaption><div class=”rich-text”><a href=”http://ift.tt/1d4h8Zp”>Global Forest Watch</a> and <a href=”http://ift.tt/1Qrt5fo”>Hansen/UMD</a&#062; showing Amazonian forest loss</div></figcaption>

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<figcaption><div class=”rich-text”><a href=”http://ift.tt/2eYJVtA”>Project Sunroof</a> showing Manhattan’s solar potential</div></figcaption>

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<figcaption><div class=”rich-text”><a href=”http://ift.tt/1KlHWHp”>Environmental Defense Fund</a> pinpointing climate pollution by mapping Boston’s methane leaks with Street View cars</div></figcaption>

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<figcaption><div class=”rich-text”><a href=”http://ift.tt/1VFcyvJ”>Ocean Agency</a> taking us underwater to explore <a href=”http://ift.tt/2u9jS7R”>disappearing coral reefs</a></div></figcaption>

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<div class=”block-paragraph”><div class=”rich-text”><p>Our team had the chance to sit down with former Vice President Al Gore to discuss the roles of data, tools and technology in solving the climate crisis. </p></div></div>
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<div class=”block-paragraph”><div class=”rich-text”><p>We’re grateful to leaders like Al Gore, and all who act as stewards of our shared planetary home. The last decade has seen immense technological progress—and we’ll continue to work on data and tools to guide us to a more sustainable world.</p></div></div>

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