Case Studies - Amazon Mining Watch

Case Studies

This work grew out of a series of collaborations with journalists and with activists seeking to expose illegal gold-mining activity and document its impacts on the environment and on local Indigenous communities.

The team of developers began identifying mines by sight in satellite imagery. Later, some high school classes helped Earthrise Media in the image sleuthing. Finally, it made sense to try to automate the identification of mine sites. The training datasets for the machine-learned models followed those painstaking human surveys.

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Reports using the automated detections:

Related reporting:

Many thanks to our collaborators, whose skill and resourceful reporting brought these important stories to light. If you are a journalist and want to investigate some of the areas of mining identified by this tool, we recommend you check on the geographical coordinates of the mines as provided in our interactive map. The location data will help you to cross-reference the information with other databases, such as deforestation or mining concessions. By correlating these datasets, you might be able to find the corporate actors responsible for the mining sites and determine the legality of the operations. 


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