Popular Science recently announced its 6th annual “Brilliant Ten” list, which profiles ‘young geniuses who are shaping the future of science’. One of those is Greg Asner, pictured left, who has been working on new ways to digitally map the environment and has led breakthrough studies on the Hawaiian rainforest.
In his new work, he’s found ways to map up to 40,000 acres a day and create astonishingly detailed 3D maps of the forest canopy. Top stuff.
Asner’s breakthrough was devising a new form of signal processing that could extract high-resolution images from decades-old Landsat satellites—”cracking open the pixels,” as he says—to see the forest down to individual felled trees. He found that up to 25 surrounding trees can be killed in the process of harvesting just one.