Skip to main content

Google’s Forest Change Explorer helps kids visualize deforestation

google classroom deforestation tracking project googleforrest
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Google has launched a new website in conjunction with Science in the Classroom and Dr. Matt Hansen of the University of Maryland, known as the Global Forest Change Explorer. The hope is that by mapping global changes in forests, detailing the causes of deforestation, and the resurgence of certain forests, it will help children better understand the importance of these ecosystems all over the world.

Combining Google Earth technology with comprehensive statistics on the state of forests around the world, the interactive site lets you view the extent to which some countries are seeing their forest habitats destroyed.

More than that though, the site is designed to act as a tool for teachers and students alike, letting them make comparisons between countries to look at differing rates of deforestation and reforestation, and visualize trends across the globe.

Related: Enthusiast blog unearths China’s bizarre ‘street offset’ system

This is something that Matt Hansen has been encouraging for years already. As Google explains in its related blog post, he previously used Google Earth to map out changes in forest cover using cloud-based image processing. He hopes that with this new platform, more people — especially the young — will take an interest in the state of forests globally and help to preserve them for the future.

Science in the Classroom, an organization that brings scientific data to schools in an easy- to-digest package, supported this idea and helped Google in building the Forest Change Explorer to make accessing that information easier for teachers and students.

That data will be continually updated in the future, with additions made by researchers and processionals around the world, as well as through remote sensing tools which can help corroborate details from researchers on the ground.

You can access the data set and tools on the official GlobalForestChange website, and you can also access the downloadable curriculum, which provides tests and other tasks for students to pursue after spending some time with the data.

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
Google Lens is getting Chrome integration to help you find out-of-stock products
Google Lens shopping integration.

Google announced at its Search On event on Wednesday that it's bringing the smartphone functionality of its Google Lens to the desktop version of Chrome. Lens is an app that helps identify objects, and it's installed by default in many Android phones.

At some point in "the coming months," Chrome will receive an update to incorporate Lens-style searching into Chrome. Instead of the old highlight, then right-click, then "search Google for" three-step process, you can search a webpage directly with Lens.

Read more
Google’s newest Android updates bring accessibility changes and emoji updates
The Google Photos logo.

Google today announced a slew of updates coming to Android this fall. Rolling out starting today, the changes update various facets of Android devices, ranging from accessibility to using your phone when mobile to just plain entertainment.

The major features here for accessibility are Camera Switches and Project Activate. Camera Switches is an Android feature that lets you control your phone with facial expressions by using your front-facing camera as an input method. It first debuted as part of the Android 12 beta, but Google is rolling it out to older Android phones as well this week. As for Project Activate, it's an app that lets you use facial gestures to communicate.

Read more
Best Alienware Prime Day deals still available: gaming laptops and PCs
The Alienware m18 gaming laptop.

Prime Day deals may not have the official seal anymore, but there are plenty of deals still available. This is the best time of the year to get your hands on Prime Day gaming laptop deals and Prime Day gaming PC deals that were previously out of your reach -- and that includes machines made by Alienware. Dell's gaming-focused brand is extremely popular. We've gathered our favorite Alienware deals for the shopping event for you to browse, but if you want to take advantage of any of them, you need to be quick because they may end the deal any second.
Best Alienware gaming laptop Prime Day deals

If you want a portable gaming machine, a gaming laptop is the perfect choice for you, and buying from Alienware gaming laptop Prime Day deals is highly recommended. These machines come at a premium price because of the power that they pack, but you can get them for much cheaper than usual during the shopping event. There's no time to waste though, as other gamers will surely be interested in these offers -- there's no telling how long stocks will last.

Read more