For the layman; NDVI stands for Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, and is a measure of the state of plant health, based on how the plant reflects and absorbs light at certain frequencies; quantifying the concentrations of green leaf vegetation. Michael Breetzke, one of the company directors explains; ‘the higher the NDVI reading; the higher the chlorophyll context, which equals a thriving plant in good health. However, a low NDVI reading will quickly alert users that there is a disturbance in the health of the plants- which may be due to disease, plague, drought, etc.’
Due to the remarkably high resolution imagery provided by the Planet platform; this allows Swift to detect these NDVI values a lot sooner than other satellite services; and in turn allowing Ecosia to waste no time in ascertaining the difference they are making in their study areas. This live information will therefore allow the team at Ecosia to instantly assess the spread and impact of disease and other significant changes in the health of the trees they have planted; nipping disturbances in the proverbial bud before it is too late or costly to remedy.
What’s more, a worthy note is that the unbiased technology picks up what the human eye cannot yet see- as it is able to catch disease before it palpably spreads.
Avoiding disputes over biased photographs that planters may or may not take of the planting progress; Ecosia will also save themselves a heap of surplus funds (meaning more trees can be planted!) by sending surveyors to the site only when necessary and alerted by the up-to-date dashboards that will indicate this vital information.