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From the ground, it's hard to envision how tiny, day-to-day changes add up to big impact.The recently released book, Space Atlas of Lebanon, a project of Lebanon's National Council for Scientific Research, aims to show the public a big picture view of Lebanon, from above. Scientists and policy planners say that the images are particularly valuable for long-term planning, and to visualize changes to Lebanon's natural resources over time. Paired with existing data, the satellite images yield a wealth of information, boosting visibility and strengthening evidence of changes to urban development, water resources and vegetation through time. The archive of images dating back 40 years offers a sweeping, historic view of Lebanon's topography.CNRS receives updated images each month.The images also show how urban sprawl has proliferated in Lebanon throughout the late 20th century, and continues to spread.Sami Feghali, head of land use planning at Lebanon's Council for Development and Reconstruction, said that the satellite images from CNRS have helped in planning projects related to infrastructure, filling in the existing data gaps.Although the images have helped in project and planning, having more information doesn't necessarily spur action. Lebanon has been slow to move on pressing threats, such as water loss and unchecked urban development.
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