Last week I reported how commercial satellites were helping human rights groups spot government abuses in Burma (new army encampment pictured). Some readers worried that space-based imagery was too easy to fake or misinterpret. As it turns out, the imagery specialists from the American Association for the Advancement of Science team up with Burmese spotters on the ground. World Politics Review has more:
[Aung] Din’s people relay the coordinates of potential trouble spots. [Lars] Bromley’s team bids for satellite time. The resulting imagery — if not spoiled by cloud cover or fast-growing vegetation — is compared to years-old archives of imagery in order to perform “change-detection,” a tactic also employed by military reconnaissance experts looking for evidence of hidden weapons, moving vehicles or recently buried bombs. AAAS prepares the findings for distribution in the form of paper reports or electronic press releases.