As India’s environmental and cultural landscape is rapidly changing, nonprofit organizations across India are using the latest technology to raise awareness about key issues, and share the benefits of development with the masses. Today the Google Earth Outreach team is expanding the program in India, offering support to those nonprofits and public benefit organizations that wish to leverage Google's mapping tools to create knowledge, visualize their message and enable action. We are conducting multi-city trainings, engaging in outreach activities, and surfacing ways in which local nonprofits have been using these tools.
For example, the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) uses Earth Engine to track the changes in forest cover near Bandipur National Park, a tiger reserve in Karnataka, over time. NCF used cloud-removal techniques to map the damage due to a fire in the summer of 2017. Similar large-scale analyses were used to measure the impact of a conservation programme by Namma Sangha, a non-governmental organisation that has been working to halt forest loss by providing cooking gas to villagers that previously harvested fuel-wood from the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
India Literacy Project uses Google Earth to create immersive educational experiences for rural classrooms. They have created Voyager stories focused on historical sites, kingdoms and rivers, which are all a vital part of the school curriculum. Rather than learning about these places through thumbnail images in textbooks, the students are transported across India and around the world.
“The project expands students’ horizons,” says Padmaja Sathyamoorthy, India Literacy Project Operations Coordinator. “It’s not just about learning curriculum from a textbook. I believe it creates a curiosity and a love for learning that will last a lifetime.”
For Indian NGOs looking to learn more, see Google Earth Outreach and Google for Nonprofits websites. We’d love to get in touch. Share your stories with us at [email protected] and stay up-to-date by joining our mailing list.
Posted by Allie Lieber, Program Manager, Google Earth Outreach