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Validating the Effectiveness of the NASA Open Data Cube on Augmenting Deforestation Analysis in Colombia

Colombia contains a variety of endemic species, making it one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Due to a recent peace treaty between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government, Colombia's rainforest has become more vulnerable to illegal deforestation. This is especially true within the department of Caquetà, located in the southwestern portion of the country. With satellite data becoming more widely available, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), working directly with the Colombian Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology, and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), has developed the Colombian Data Cube. Using compiled images from Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+), Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS), and Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) the Colombian Data Cube allows for access to analysis ready satellite imagery without large downloads or processing requirements. The NASA DEVELOP team, working alongside with the University of Andes and IDEAM, aimed to utilize the Colombia Data Cube by refining land change algorithms and vegetation indices to validate field data provided by IDEAM, as well as optimizing their respective interfaces. The results of this project will be useful to IDEAM's mission to help monitor deforestation hotspots and assist their government with developing strategies to combat deforestation. Additionally, the University of Andes can use this project as an educational tool to teach students about the Colombian Data Cube and its many applications, including deforestation. This project will also be valuable as a case study for other countries looking to develop the Open Data Cube and apply important NASA data to local issues.