United Nations: New Google-powered software will help the world tackle problems related to climate change, deforestation and food production. Open Foris, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) software, uses high-resolution satellite images to monitor the environment and changes in land use and forest cover. The software would be free to use by anyone.
Erik Lindquist, forestry officer at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) told, “We make maps that used to take three years in a week. Rather than preparing data to analyse, we can spend time probing the data for answers. We’re getting to answers much more quickly. There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the total forest area in the world, how much forest is being lost and gained, how is the land use changing and what are the effects on carbon emissions. The more we use these tools the more we’re going to be sure of whether the situation is improving or getting worse.”