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Posts tagged ‘Bing Maps’

How School Students can Save the Planet in One Year!

This following is reposted from the DeforestACTION blog  This problem based learning activity is a global collaboration of millions of kids working together to solve real global problems. The learning outcomes so far have been phenomenal.  Register your students at
In this photo: The King (Sultan Hamengku Bowono X) of Java broadcasting to 20,000 students from 29 countries in the DeforestAction web launch. – Photo by Josh Raymond
Don’t look to Obama or the UN to save the planet from deadly climate change. Look to the young people in your classrooms who joined the first DeforestAction live web event  from Borneo last week and to the millions of friends with whom they are collaborating.  They will be responsible for saving the planet – and it will only take them one year to do what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chance (IPCC) has failed to do since it began.
Imagine if it was possible shut down every factory, car, truck, coal powered electricity station and every chainsaw in Australia (now rated the world’s highest CO2 emitter per head of population)  for one year.  This would save around 465 Million tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. If we could just convince Germany, Sweden and France to do the same, we could save around 3 billion tons of CO2 entering the atmosphere per year.
Alternatively, by stopping illegal deforestation in Borneo (92% of all logging in Borneo is illegal), in one  year we could save 3.5 billion tons of carbon being pumped into the atmosphere  – that’s more than the annual CO2 emissions of Sweden, Germany, France and Australia put together.
Last week in Indonesia, the DeforestAction team met with the Sultan of Java (Hamengku Bowono X), the Bupati of Sintang Borneo, the heads of the police, the military, the chiefs of the tribes, and the heads of the church, and received universal support for this project.
The Bupati of Sintang Borneo offers full military and governmental support to the DeforestAction team to stop deforestation
Their key message :
Indonesia desperately want to stop illegal deforestation but needs help to do this. If the DeforestAction team can provide reliable real time advice on where illegal deforestation is occuring, they will mobilize their army to arrest the criminals immediately.
Currently, there are millions of satellite photos taken every week.  Even the most powerful computers in the world are unable to sufficiently monitor the forest for illegal activity.  But, millions of students, with simple technology from Microsoft and Geodan, can provide exactly the right information, quickly and efficiently.
How will it work?
Using Bing Maps, some high level programming by Dutch company Geodan, and the latest satellite technology, the entire forest area of borneo will be divided into 30x30m blocks. This will move from restricted pilot to full version in April 2011 allowing all school students to participate.
Each student will be provided weekly images of their ‘patch’, and use a simple tool to inspect the images for inconsistencies.  For example, in the image below, this student identified some forest clearing.
Forest Monitoring
Students can monitor the forest from space and identify forest clearing. This data will be sent directly to a central point for validation.
Once change is detected, it is compared with the database of legal logging sites.  In this case, the logging has not been authorized.It is illegal!
  Legal Area comparisonsChange detection is mapped against known legal logging sites. In this case, there is no match – the logging is illegal.

 To verify the change, a lightweight plane “the Flying Dodo” will take low level, high definition photos of the site to verify the activity is illegal logging.

  Flight Path
A light weigh plane, “The Flying Dodo”, will follow a flight path across all detected areas to gain additional information
Once verified, the high definition photographs will be provided with exact coordinates to the military and the police. Young people around the world will be notified that illegal logging has been detected and reported.

 Confirmation of illegal logging

Within one week of reporting illegal activity, the perpetrators will be arrested, their equipment confiscated, and all students notified of the arrest.

Criminals illegally destroying forests in Borneo will be arrested and charged within one week of students detecting change on their machines at home or school.
Illegal deforestation will no longer be the safe, lucrative operation it currently is. Within one year, students will create a powerful deterrant mechanism to completely stop illegal deforestation. To learn more, visit or