Collaborate, Create, Communicate

Google Earth PRO – what have we done?

Last year I wrote a post about the Google Earth PRO licences that were donated to CGIAR Centers by the Google Outreach Program. One of the conditions of renewal in 2010 was that we report back to Google, detailing the uses the Centers have had for the Google Earth PRO tool.

Well, I have good news! We reported back to Google and our licenses have been renewed for another year!

In our report, we highlighted many interesting tools that either have been developed in the Centers or are currently in the pipeline with Google Earth PRO. So, as promised, I would like to share some of these great tools:

Title: Mapforgen
Overview: This tool is being developed using Google Maps/Earth API to capture data from experts, which will then be used to produce and fine tune potential distribution models and help germplasm collecting missions locate those areas, traits and taxa that are still unrepresented among international genebank collections.
Center (s): CIAT
Overview: Climate similarity viewer for the Africa Trial Sites project of the AGCommons Project.


Title: Ug99- RustMapper

Center (s): CIMMYT
Overview: RustMapper provides up-to-date Google Earth visualization information on the current status and potential spread of wheat stem rust race Ug99.

Title: Multi-biome mapping of above-ground biomass in Sudan
Center(s): ICARDA
Overview: Google Earth Pro was used for counting trees and measuring canopy diameters in inaccessible sample areas.

Title: Droppr
Center(s): IFPRI
Overview: The Droppr site hosts a collection of Droppr widgets, and Google Maps/Chart mashups with publicly available databases on the theme of agricultural sciences and international development. Sites like the Global Hunger Index (GHI) and the Climate Data showcase have embedded some of these mashups.


Title: Submergence -tolerant varieties of rice

Center (s): IRRI

Overview: This application, which was developed using Google Earth and later using Google Maps, shows where submergence-tolerant varieties of rice are being tested in collaboration with partner institutions.

Note: The GIS Lab at IRRI is also utilizing Google Earth Pro as a virtual validation and accuracy assessment tool for  rice area mapping activity.

Title: CGMap
Overview: Google Earth Pro is being used to create KML files for designing the geographic organization and visualization of CGIAR research projects. Based on the project information collected from a Center’s currently published medium term plan (MTP), a KML file is published, and linked from the Center’s website. For an example of this,  see IFPRI’s website!

Related post

Center (s): WORLDFISH
Overview: The KML file includes GPS data captured during the field visits of routes taken and sites visited in July 2008. The locations of specific sites of interest are denoted with placemark icons hot-linked to illustrative photos taken at these locations. The Yellow River along the Sanmenxia reservoir was delineated from Google Earth satellite imagery, then overlayed with village data layers to identify villages within 1, 2 and 3 kms from the river, to provide a spatial sampling frame for selecting villages for the broad-scale survey and detailed case studies.

I hope you agree these are great examples of what the CGIAR Centers have done during the past year with the Google Earth PRO donation.  I would like to thank my CSI colleagues who sent me their updates. I encourage them to keep up the good work in 2010 and continue sharing their stories so these licenses can be renewed again next year.