Scientists to Create a Digital Twin of the Amazon Rainforest

FORT COLLINS, Colo., April 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Archaeologist and National Geographic explorer, Dr. Chris Fisher, and team have launched an online fundraising campaign for the Earth Archive to scan the Amazon Rainforest using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. The group is working to secure funding via a Kickstarter campaign, which will run through Friday, May 21.

Earth Archive will begin scanning the Amazon this summer with regional partners such as Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espacias, Universidade de São Paulo, Mapbiomas, Universidad technológica de Pereira, and many others.

"We've already lost 50 percent of the world's rainforests, we're losing 18 million acres of forest each year, and rising sea levels will make whole cities, countries, and continents unrecognizable," said Dr. Fisher in his 2019 TED Talk about the project. "Unless we have a record of these places, no one in the future will even know they existed. The Earth Archive is the ultimate gift to both current and future generations."

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LiDAR scanning projects a dense grid of lasers from the air toward the ground. The result is a high-resolution 3D scan of the Earth's surface and everything on it that can potentially record every building, road, tree, watercourse and ancient and modern settlement.

Many organizations are doing incredible work to scan historical monuments. But nothing similar exists for the earth's landscapes – until now.

The Earth Archive is an unprecedented scientific effort to scan the entire surface of the Earth, starting with the areas most threatened – including the Amazon Rainforest.

Its purpose is threefold:
  1. Create a baseline record of the earth as it is today to more effectively mitigate the climate crisis.  
  2. Build a virtual planet, a digital twin, accessible to scientists, non-governmental organizations, the public sector, civil society, entrepreneurs committed to addressing critical environmental challenges.  
  3. Preserve a record of the earth for our grandchildren's grandchildren so they can study and recreate our unknown cultural and ecological heritage.

Learn more at

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About the Earth Archive
The Earth Archive Initiative is a US-based non-profit focused on 3D scanning (airborne LiDAR) the planet's surface to create an open-sourced digital twin providing a legacy for future generations, and as a critical baseline for measuring sustainability efforts including carbon offsets.

Contact: Chris Fisher, 970-412-2251, [email protected]

SOURCE The Earth Archive

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