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Nov 23, 2020

NASA Uses Powerful Supercomputers and AI to Map Earth’s Trees, Discovers Billions of Trees in West African Drylands

Posted by in categories: information science, mapping, robotics/AI, supercomputing

Scientists from NASA ’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and international collaborators demonstrated a new method for mapping the location and size of trees growing outside of forests, discovering billions of trees in arid and semi-arid regions and laying the groundwork for more accurate global measurement of carbon storage on land.

Using powerful supercomputers and machine learning algorithms, the team mapped the crown diameter – the width of a tree when viewed from above – of more than 1.8 billion trees across an area of more than 500,000 square miles, or 1,300,000 square kilometers. The team mapped how tree crown diameter, coverage, and density varied depending on rainfall and land use.

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