Skybox: A Tool to Help Investigate Environmental Crime

Skybox: A Tool to Help Investigate Environmental Crime by Kristine M. Gutterød & Emilie Gjengedal Vatnøy.

From the post:

Today public companies have to provide reports with data, while many private companies do not have to provide anything. Most companies within the oil, gas and mining sector are private, and to get information can be both expensive and time-consuming.

Skybox is a new developing tool used to extract information from an otherwise private industry. Using moving pictures on ground level—captured by satellites—you can monitor different areas up close.

“You can dig into the details and get more valuable and action-filled information for people both in the public and private sector,” explained Patrick Dunagan, strategic partnerships manager at Google, who worked in developing Skybox.

The satellite images can be useful when investigating environmental crime because you can monitor different companies, for example the change in the number of vehicles approaching or leaving a property, as well as environmental changes in the world.

Excellent news!

Hopefully Skybox will include an option to link in ground level photographs that can identify license plates and take photos of drivers.

Using GPS coordinates with time data, activists will have a means of detecting illegal and/or new dumping sites for surveillance.

Couple that with license plate data and the noose starts to tighten on environmental violators.

You will still need to pierce the shell corporations and follow links to state and local authorities but catching the physical dumpers is a first step.

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