ESRI and the US Department of the Interior announced a new website today that makes it easy for anyone to view 30 years of global satellite data and changes in vegetation world-wide. Called the ChangeMatters Viewer, the project democratizes access to the multi-billion dollar, multi-decade, multi-agency project of monitoring global ecological well-being from space.
ESRI, a giant geodata company that works closely with government, is the clear leader of the Geo 1.0 technology world. It believes the 30-meter resolution imagery will be helpful for mapping regional trends in climate change, agriculture, wildlife habitat, forestry, regional planning, coastal zones and national security. It certainly makes me want to ask the people behind planning at the Portland airport (pictured above) why there's been so much vegetation lost along the river north of my house over the last 30 years.