Tepic — Vast quantities of raw satellite imagery and data will be distilled into an online platform showing how water ecosystems have changed, and how countries can manage them to prevent further loss, said Google and the UN. Focusing initially on fresh-water ecosystems, such as rivers and forests, Google will produce geospatial maps and data for a publicly available platform to be launched in October in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (Unep). "It’s basically a time slide ... you can go back in time, and what is does is show you where water has disappeared," said Elisabeth Mullin Bernhardt, a programme manager at Unep, on Monday. "It can show you where water never was and now is there. It can show you where water is seasonal." For Africa’s Lake Chad, for example, access to comprehensive data and images showing surrounding land and rivers could help explain why the lake, on which so many depend, is drying up so quickly, said Kenya-based Bernhardt. Given that most countr...

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