About The Earth Archive

The climate crisis and human caused land-use/cover changes threaten to to destroy our entire cultural & ecological patrimony. We’ve already lost 50% of the world’s rainforests. We’re losing 7.3 million hectares of forest each year. Rising sea levels will make whole cities, countries, and continents unrecognizable. Unless we have a record of these places, no one in the future will even know they existed.

  • LiDAR, Light Detection & Ranging, involves shooting a dense grid of infrared beams from an airplane towards the ground. It’s a high-resolution scan of the earth’s surface & everything on it. Not an actual image, but a dense three-dimensional cloud of points.

  • The Earth Archive is both a program of scanning focused on endangered landscapes and an open-source collection of LiDAR scans accessible to scientists around the world.


Create a baseline record of the earth as it is today to more effectively mitigate the climate crisis.

Build a virtual, open-source planet accessible to all scientists so we can better understand our world. Preserve a record of the Earth's landscapes for humanity so we can study & recreate our lost heritage.

Earth Archive Initiative Board

Dr. Chris Fisher, Founder/Director

is an archaeologist, National Geographic Explorer, and Professor of Anthropology at Colorado State University. Chris has performed fieldwork throughout Latin America, Europe, and North America. His work is featured in the New York Times Bestselling Book, The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston. He founded the Earth Archive out of his experiences using remote sensing technologies in Mexico & Honduras to better understand the causes and consequences of urbanism and environmental change.

Dr. Stephen Leisz, Co-Director

is a Professor of Geography at Colorado State University. His research uses LiDAR, medium and high resolution satellite imagery, and derived digital elevation models to investigate the drivers of land change. Since 2010 he has worked with Chris Fisher to integrate remote sensed data and LiDAR with archaeological fieldwork. Dr. Leisz’s work has been funded by the NASA Space Archaeology program, NASA’s Land-Use/Land-Cover Change program, and the National Science Foundation.

Mark Barounos

Mark is President and CEO of ConnectMii Events Inc, a leader in virtual event management, with event portfolios in the mapping, GIS, infrastructure, energy,  communications and retail sales sectors. Mark has over 30 years’ experience in physical and virtual event management, with specific expertise in video technology integration into events. He developed a pioneering online event streaming media technology that was acquired by Akamai Technologies. In the early 1980's Mark’s firm MediaPlus introduced electronic banking into China with the Electronic Fund Transfer shows, and ultimately led to a World Bank-funded project to modernize China’s banks.

Ron Chapple

has over 30 years flying in helicopters creating images, video, and LiDAR. As founder of GEO1 and Aerial Filmworks, Ron continually invests in new  technology, and explores the optimal methodology for processing and analyzing remote sensing data. Ron has won an Emmy Award for his aerial work on a PBS series, contributed artwork to the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum, and shared a Pulitzer Prize for a multi-disciplinary video and LiDAR project with USA Today.

William Sarni

Will is an internationally recognized thought leader on water strategy and innovation. He has authored numerous books and articles and presented on: the value of water, innovations in digital water technology, the circular economy, and the energy-water-food nexus. He has been a water strategy advisor to private and public-sector enterprises and NGOs for his entire career

Peter Atalla

Peter is a technology entrepreneur with 2 successful exits. He has been in the mapping industry for 16 years and has managed large scale mapping projects for the largest technology company in the world as Program Director. Previously he was CEO and founder of Navmii a navigation and mapping company with over 30million users that mapped 180 countries.  Prior to this he grew his previous company DataArt, to over 500 people before exiting. Peter has a degree in Applied Physics from NTU.

Douglas Preston

Douglas is an American journalist and author. Although he is best known for his thrillers in collaboration with Lincoln Child (including the Agent Pendergast series and Gideon Crew series), he has also written six solo novels, including the Wyman Ford series and a novel entitled Jennie, which was made into a movie by Disney, and the Lost City of the Monkey God. He has authored a half-dozen non-fiction books on science and exploration and writes occasionally for The New Yorker, Smithsonian, and other magazines.

Earth Archive Initiative Advisory Board

Girish Joshi

An engineer by training, a marketer by profession, Girish is a growth leader who loves to bridge the gap between challenges and solutions. His experience spans 24 years and 3 continents, all aspects of data and media, but his real passion is leveraging knowledge and connects, to bring viable solutions that impact human society. He is passionate about everything related to automobiles and dogs, and splits his time between US and India.

Cheryl Ginyard  Jones

Cheryl is Head, Energy Transition and Digital for the Americas at Worley, and was President of ECIT Group LLC, a professional services firm aimed at providing expert business management consulting services to government and industry clients. ECIT works across several industries and has strong expertise in Energy, Chemicals and Communications Technology. Prior to Worley and ECIT Group, Cheryl had an extensive career in Oil and Gas, Petrochemicals and Industrial Products industries. She held executive positions with BP in the US and UK leading billion- dollar global projects, managing multi-billion dollar commercial businesses, leading business unit financial operations and international sales.


Earth Archive Virtual Congress Advisory Board

Mark Barounos

Dr. Stephen Leisz

Dr. Chris Fisher

William Sarni

Girish Joshi