FAO-Google Partnership to Increase Mapping Technology Accessibility and Training
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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and Google Maps have agreed to cooperate to make geospatial tracking and mapping products more accessible, aiming to enhance countries' capacity to assess changes in forested areas, develop forest and land-use policies and estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

fao_google1 December 2015: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and Google Maps have agreed to cooperate to make geospatial tracking and mapping products more accessible, aiming to enhance countries’ capacity to assess changes in forested areas, develop forest and land-use policies and estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Digital technology tapping into satellite imagery is revolutionizing the way countries can assess, monitor and plan the use of their natural resources, including monitoring deforestation and desertification, according to FAO. The three-year partnership between FAO and Google Maps is designed to foster innovation and expertise and broaden access to easy-to-use digital tools. Concretely, Google Maps will provide 1,200 trusted tester credentials on the Google Earth Engine to FAO staff and partners, while also providing training and receiving feedback on users’ needs and experiences. FAO will train its own staff and technical experts in member countries, upon their request, to use free and open source software tools developed within its Open Foris Initiative and to use Google technology such as the Earth Engine.

The partnership foresees sharing knowledge and identifying needs that will expand the kind of satellite data collected and broaden the focus to monitoring drylands and agricultural crop productivity. [FAO Press Release] [Open Foris Initiative] [Google Earth Engine]

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