Over the years, Google Earth has been responsible for helping a huge number of non-profit and other worthwhile organizations around the world. We’ve shown you how environmental groups have been using Google Earth for more than six years, how it’s been used to fight against rainforest logging, and Google Earth Outreach consistenly showcases many other amazing organizations from a variety of countries.
Similarly to the others that have used Google Earth to fight against deforestation, the Philippine National Police have been using Google Earth to fight illegal logging in the province of Laguna.
Here is their story, in their words:
On behalf of all the personnel of Philippine National Police (PNP) Laguna, I would like to express our gratefulness for the wonderful gift of your Google Earth services. It contributed a lot and it has been a great part of our efforts against illegal logging here in the province of Laguna. Nationwide, we are shocked by the effect of the natural and man-made calamities wreaking havoc to our country resulting to loss of lives and properties. Man-made calamities are greatly attributed to rampant illegal logging and deforestation thus causing flash floods and landslides. Since Laguna had been one of the most affected areas of flash floods and landslides, the Laguna PNP initiated the creation of a dedicated Provincial Anti-Illegal Logging Task Group “BERDE” purposely to ensure the implementation of OPLAN “BERDE (Boost Economic Reserves for the Development of Ecosystem). Through the help of Google Earth, we were able to locate specific targets of our OPLAN BERDE. Our operations yielded positive results on illegal logging sites like Cavinti, Laguna that was identified by using Google Earth. Initial operation last April 13, 2012 resulted to the recovery of forest products, machinery equipment, tools and conveyance abandoned during apprehension. Google Earth has been a major contributing factor to the success of our operation. Because of you and your innovative services, we can keep moving forward towards the attainment of our goals in the field of law enforcement.
As Google Earth imagery continues to become higher resolution and update more rapidly, it will become an even more useful tool for organizations like this one.
As Google has continually improved the quality of their imagery across the globe, one area always seemed to stay low-res — Antarctica. Thanks to the help of the Polar Geospatial Center (PCG), that’s beginning to change.
A great example of that is the Mackay Glacier Tongue, located in Granite Harbor, seen here:
You can see it for yourself, as shown in the article, using this KML file.
So far, the PGC has helped Google update nearly 1,000,000 square kilometers, with another 275,000 square kilometers added every three months. While it will take a while to get the entire continent updated (more than 14,000,000 sq km), they’re certainly making great progress.
Along with updating the quality of the imagery, they’re also working to improve the accuracy of the location of the imagery. The PGC’s Paul Morin will be heading down to the Antarctic Peninsula soon to help improve the imagery from being off by as much as 30 meters to being accurate within a single meter.
The full article at The Antarctic Sun is quite interesting and well worth your time to read. We all enjoy the constantly improving imagery quality in Google Earth, and the PGC is just one of many companies working with Google to help move things forward.
As they’ve done for the past few years (here is 2010), the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has produced their annual Sea Ice Extent data
While 2011 wasn’t a record year for ice loss, it came close, ending just slightly above the mark set in 2007. You can view the data for yourself by loading this KMZ file.
Here are the details for this year:
Average ice extent for September 2011 was 4.61 million square kilometers (1.78 million square miles), 2.43 million square kilometers (938,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average. This was 310,000 square kilometers (120,000 square miles) above the average for September 2007, the lowest monthly extent in the satellite record. Ice extent was below the 1979 to 2000 average everywhere except in the East Greenland Sea, where conditions were near average.
As in recent years, northern shipping routes opened up this summer. The Northern Sea Route opened by mid August and still appeared to be open as of the end of September. The southern “Amundsen Route” of the Northwest Passage, through the straits of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, opened for the fifth year in a row. Overall, sea ice in the wider and deeper northern route through Parry Channel reached a record low, according to Stephen Howell of Environment Canada, based on Canadian Ice Service analysis. Parry Channel had a narrow strip of ice that blocked a short section of the channel, but it did appear to open briefly in early September.