The goal of the Jane Goodall Institute is to preserve African great apes and their
habitats, with an emphasis on chimpanzees. To be effective, conservation projects
require the best science and data available in order to design, implement, measure,
and monitor the success of conservation actions. They also must engage stakeholders
in participatory and transparent ways — from local communities to government
In 2006, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) began sharing daily updates online that
provided a glimpse of chimpanzee field research and an ongoing view of the research
program begun by Jane Goodall in 1960.
By adding Google Earth tools to their outreach, they’ve been able to capture,
visualize, and share information about forest loss with local communities, government
representatives, and potential donors. These mapping tools go beyond data to provide
a canvas on which JGI can vividly illustrate disappearing habitats and the effects of
poverty, including deforestation and unsustainable farming.
“The information that the forest monitors are collecting is not just useful for the
village. It's actually contributing toward a global effort of monitoring forests and
natural resources around the world.”
Dr. Lilian Pintea, Vice President of Conservation Science, JGI
Following the interest and excitement of JGI’s initial online outreach, they’ve been
using Google Earth Engine, Open Data Kit (ODK), smartphones, tablets, and cloud
technology since 2009 to empower local communities to better manage and monitor their
They’ve used these tools to manage land use and forest reserves in western Tanzania,
to monitor biomass and carbon in dry tropical forests and Miombo woodlands, and to
model potential distribution of chimpanzees across Tanzania’s National Parks.
In addition, JGL has built a Forest Watcher app that makes it easier to download,
locate, verify and report on forest loss alerts, and developed an online course for
their youth action program with Google’s Coursebuilder software that uses My Maps and
other Google mapping tools to bring conservation efforts to life.
In Uganda and Tanzania, JGI is using ODK and Android tablets to conduct detailed
inventory and mapping of private forest owners and village forest monitoring to
support country's preparedness for REDD.
A partnership with Woods Hole Research Center and support of Norwegian Government,
JGI has been applying Google Earth Engine technology to build capacity in Tanzania
for monitoring biomass and carbon in dry tropical forests and Miombo woodlands.