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Environmental Conservation and Geospatial Image Analysis

Mark Alonzo

In his recent post, my colleague, Peter McIntosh wrote about the different markets where geospatial software provides solutions.   For many geospatial imagery users monitoring and quantifying change is a very important task.   Through my work with academic institutions and environmental organizations, I have noticed the same need for accurate change detection results.

The Nature Conservancy and some of its member affiliates are using image analysis software to aid researchers and scientists in studying some of our planet’s critical habitats.  Additionally, organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society, Jane Goodall Institute, and Conservation International are using also using geospatial image analysis tools along with government and commercial satellite imagery to map land cover and detect changes across the globe.

Using archival imagery with image classification tools enables researchers to set a baseline of a habitat going back years.  With this type of baseline, both reforestation and deforestation can me mapped and quantified.   Other areas of application include mapping agriculture encroachment into native forest, development of urban areas, roads and footpaths development, and detecting mining encampments in protected areas home to endangered and threatened wildlife.

Change detection and land cover classification analysis can play an important role in making sure human life is able to safely and responsibly coexist with the rest of the planets inhabitants.

How do you support your environmental conservation project with remote sensing and geospatial analysis?

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