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October 27th, 2014
Introducing Skybox for Good

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With Skybox joining Google thre is a tremendous opportunity to leverage our imaging satellites for positive change in the world. At our annual Geo for Good User Summit, we announced the Skybox for Good program, under which we will contribute fresh satellite imagery to projects that save lives, protect the environment, promote education, and positively impact humanity.

We’ve already begun supporting projects such as this, and we wanted to share some of the results. We have been monitoring sites critical to our understanding of global climate change, such as the Helheim Glacier in Greenland.

The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Signal Program  has been using our imagery to help develop tools for Internally Displaced Persons camp management in Africa and the Middle East.

Access to global satellite imagery through Google Earth and Maps has changed the way people see their world – from the cities they live in to faraway places. On the Google Earth Outreach team, we have witnessed the way these tools have changed how our partners do their work and tell their amazing stories.

We’ve captured some images of Nagarkovil village in Northern Sri Lanka. HALO Trust previously cleared landmines in this area and used updated imagery to help verify that people are returning, having built 84 houses and cultivating over 40 hectares of agricultural land.

In this beta phase of the program, we will select a small group of organizations and provide the imagery they need to accelerate their work. The images collected for these partners are being made available publicly, under a Creative Commons By Attribution license (CC BY 4.0), for everyone to see and use. We’ve already started collecting a few images, which you can see on this map. Check out the images in West Virginia, where SkyTruth and Appalachian Voices are monitoring and measuring the rapid expansion of mountaintop-removal (MTR) mining which is devastating forests and communities across Appalachia, visible in the image below, right next to the popular hiking trails of Kanawha State Forest.  

Google Earth Outreach gives nonprofits and public benefit organizations the knowledge and resources they need to visualize their cause and tell their story. In the future, we hope to expand the Skybox for Good program to allow many more non-profit organizations and public interest groups to benefit from the use of Skybox data.  

For more details visit the Skybox blog.

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