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People Fighting For A Sustainable Future Have A Powerful New Tool

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SUMATRA, INDONESIA  SEPTEMBER 23(SOUTH AFRICA OUT): A Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) satellite view of the South Sumatra forest fires on September 23, 2015 in South Sumatra, Indonesia. (Photo by USGS/NASA Landsat/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
SUMATRA, INDONESIA SEPTEMBER 23(SOUTH AFRICA OUT): A Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) satellite view of the South Sumatra forest fires on September 23, 2015 in South Sumatra, Indonesia. (Photo by USGS/NASA Landsat/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The following is an excerpt from Alexander Howard | November 13, 2015 | Huffingtonpost.com |

Satellite images are helping humanity better understand our changing world. It's never been easier to access recent pictures of the changing face of our planet captured by NASA and a growing constellation of satellites from public and private companies. The challenge is that there's still a knowledge gap about how to put that photography to use, from fighting wildfires with the next generation of satellites to tracking deforestation in Indonesia.

A new World Bank website will help more people working on sustainable development to understand what's possible and where to start. The website, which launched this week at the Satellite Summit industry conference in Washington, D.C., breaks down how companies capture, analyze and distribute satellite images and, crucially, tells people who aren't experts in these systems how they can use these data in sustainable development.

(Disclosure: I moderated a panel on collaboration between satellite and development sectors at the event.)

For more visit: Huffingtonpost.com

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