[Ed. – Obama is a climate tool.]
Google plans to create high-resolution drought mapping for the mainland United States as part of a White House effort – to be unveiled Wednesday – to give communities more data so they can prepare for climate change.
Google, one of several corporate participants, will also use federal databases to build what it says will be the first terrain map of the planet to show how sea levels and other climate-related changes are occurring. It’s donating one petabyte – or one billion megabytes – of cloud storage for the endeavor.
“We can help make sense out of vast amounts of data,” says Rebecca Moore, engineering manager of Google Earth Engine & Earth Outreach. She says the U.S. government collects a “tremendous amount” of valuable satellite data, but much of it is stored on tape and not used. She says Google aims to help people prepare for extreme heat, drought, sea level rise and flooding “as easily as they use Google maps to get driving directions,”
The Obama administration is tapping the expertise and reach of more than a dozen U.S. companies, universities and private groups, as well as the World Bank for its “Climate Data Initiative,” which is part of the president’s broader plan to fight climate change.