Have a look at this amazing video, released by Google, showing a three-decade time-lapse of the Earth. The Google Earth KMZ file available under the discover tab allows you to play around with the time lapse feature in the Calha Norte region and see for yourself how deforestation and urban sprawl have transformed the Amazon. This video is a powerful demonstration of what GIS technologies can contribute to our understanding of political ecology, ie. how social phenomena such as urban sprawl transform our physical landscape. This increased awareness can hopefully lead to better policy to limit the negative consequences of such phenomena.
Hannah Reardon is a Montreal-based researcher trained in Political Science and Anthropology.