Google Earth, as a virtual globe program or commonly known as Earth Viewer, is the largest geographic image storage area in the world. Google Earth displays aerial images, satellite images, 3D topography, geographic data and Street View in one platform. In celebration of their 15th birthday, they share inspiring stories from their users. One of them is HAkA’s story in using Google Earth as a media in monitoring the Leuser Ecosystem (LE).
HAkA’s Geographic Information System (GIS) team has been working with Google Earth for 5 years. After attending the “Geo for Good Summit” event held by Google in 2015, the GIS team started using Google mapping tools in the operations of the GIS team, including Google Earth Pro, Google Earth Web, Google My Maps, and Google Earth Engine. Google mapping tool is highly beneficial for HAkA and partners in conducting research and visualizing forest cover data. As a member of the Earth Outreach Trainer Network, the GIS HAkA team is committed to providing training to use these tools to other NGOs or institutions in need.
In addition, HAkA is also the first initiator from Indonesia to publish its story on the Voyager Story platform in July 2018. On this platform, people now can learn about Leuser, flora and fauna that contained in, threats that currently faced, as well the importance in conserving this lavish ecosystem. The release of this story certainly increases the public and stakeholders’ awareness of the importance of LE to be protected, and encourages the formation of policies that support the protection of LE.