The Canadian Arctic Resources Committee has just released one major step in removing the blindfold from northern development. The step is a computer-based tool that uses satellite imagery and publicly available information to map the increasing impacts of development in the Northwest Territories.
The mapping tool uses “Google Earth” a popular platform that is used by millions of people worldwide, to show the zones of impact caused by each type of development. These impacts are separated out into high, medium and low impact zones. In the highest impact zones, all forms of plant and wildlife are affected, meaning that numbers of large mammals and birds are reduced in the area.
The mapping tool is accompanied by a report that shows how to use the tool, and explains the assumptions used in the mapping. We hope that northerners will use this tool to see for themselves the sorts of effects that may result from adding more development to the northern landscape. It is part of CARC’s ongoing mission to provide northerners with the tools they need to make informed decisions about sustainable development. To read the report, click here.
Download the mapping tools as a Google Earth .kmz file
To use the mapping tool make sure that you have downloaded the free Google Earth software