Check this out! Google Labs is working on a new application -different from Google Earth- that will make GIS more accessible on a local scale. Watch the first video “What is Google Earth Engine?” If nothing else it will demonstrate the importance of GIS within environmental initiatives.
What they’re developing is an online cloud computing platform environmental monitoring program with landsat imagery of tropical areas updated daily, giving countries access to the most current data about their forests. They do offer a few maps and data sets to look at, but the program is definitely still in the works! The expectation is that local places will be able to accurately observe and report on the changing state of their land. They hope that over time this program will help reduce tropical deforestation, empower developing nations, and contribute to a better public understanding of the planet resources! There’s a second video on the site listed above that explains the Surui tribe’s Carbon Project in the Amazon!