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Welcome to the 21st-century world of space archaeology, in which culturally important ruins can be spotted and decoded via high-resolution images captured by Earth-orbiting satellites. And a platform called GlobalXplorer puts this experience at any user's fingertips, inviting all who have internet connections to assist archaeologists in finding and protecting sites around the world, some of which are yet to be brought to light.
GlobalXplorer, which launched today (Jan. 30), is stocked with imagery representing 77,220 square miles (200,000 square kilometers) of sites located in Peru, creator and space archaeologist Sarah Parcak announced at a press briefing. By scanning "tiles" of the ground, users can identify and flag telltale signs of looting activity or unusual features that could represent an undiscovered structure. Archaeologists and government agencies can then use this data to preserve sites that are in peril and to launch new excavations in unexplored areas, Parcak told reporters.