How Technology is Transforming Conservation Efforts Worldwide

How Technology is Transforming Conservation Efforts Worldwide

Conservationists are using drones, remote sensors and new mapping software to monitor deforestation and illegal poaching in real time. But in the wrong hands, some of these new technologies tools could have devastating effects on wildlife. A discussion on how new technology is transforming conservation efforts.

New technologies are now giving conservationists abilities that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Using remote sensors, satellite mapping and drones, scientists and activists can now monitor deforestation and endangered wildlife in real time. And a new Wiki-leaks-style website is being used to target the kingpins of wildlife smuggling. But like many technologies, these new tools have risks. Tracking devices in the hand of poachers, for example, could prove devastating to endangered elephants. Join Diane and a panel of guests for a discussion on how technology is transforming conservation efforts worldwide.


Jon Hoekstra

chief scientist, World Wildlife Fund. He is author of "The Atlas of Global Conservation" and a recent article in Foreign Affairs: "Networking Nature: How Technology is Transforming Conservation"

Andrea Crosta

founder, WildLeaks and executive director of Elephant Action League

Rebecca Moore

engineering manager, Google, and founder of Google Earth Outreach

Maps In Motion

Google's Time Lapse project is giving Internet users around the world a rare perspective on how certain areas have changed over time.

Las Vegas, Nevada

This timelapse, which spans 1984 to 2012, shows how Las Vegas, Nevada—one of the the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.—over the course of nearly 20 years, thanks to images that the United States Geological Survey has been collecting since 1972.

As the strip grows, it's also clear that Lake Mead (at right) shrinks).

"Each frame of the timelapse map is constructed from a year of Landsat satellite data, constituting annual 1.7-terapixel snapshot of the Earth at 30-meter resolution," Google's team says.

Raleigh, North Carolina

In this timelapse, Google shows the suburban growth around Raleigh North Carolina

Deforestation, Farm Land, Human Settlements And Our Changing Planet
The Environmental Defense Fund used Google's tool to showcase these four areas around the world whose development the group says "will open your eyes to our changing planet."

Create Your Own Timelapse

Want to see how your hometown has changed over time? Zoom into your area (or any area of interest) on the Google Timelapse viewer and hit "share" to send to social media, or to family or friends.

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