Story maps: visualizing multimedia development communications

By Teddy Searight

SILT map
SILT project story map

The famous statistician, Hans Rosling, used to say the aim is to go from numbers to information to understanding.  This is the essence of how data should be used, shared and presented.

Data can be presented in many different ways but maps are perhaps the best way of visualizing spatial information. As technology has progressed since the early Turin Papyrus Map produced by the ancient Egyptians in 1160 BCE, humans have been developing and refining how we model our environment to improve our understanding of complex information. Continue reading

Using lasers to map forest carbon

Forests cover approximately 4 billion hectares of the Earth's surface, equivalent to a third of it's total land area.  According to the WWF, between 12-15 million hectares of forests are lost every year due to human impacts, such as deforestation.  It is estimated that forest loss is responsible for around 15% of global carbon emissions.  Being able to accurately measure these emissions is important to develop a strategy to mitigate against the impacts of climate change.  Until now, it has been difficult for researchers to monitor the world's carbon stocks and how they vary over time.  However, a team of researchers from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory of Stanford University (CAO) have developed an airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system that can measure how much carbon is stored in forests and where human activities including deforestation are releasing it.

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