The researchers note that not all species are ideal for survey via Google Street View, but many could be, such as common tree problems whose symptoms are identifiable from the road, including the horse chestnut leaf miner or ash dieback fungus.
"The data collected by using Google Street View may be useful in monitoring diseases or invasive organism expansion," Rossi told LiveScience.
In January, a different team of scientists found Google Street View could also find potential nesting sites in northern Spain for the globally endangered Egyptian vulture. Altogether, these findings suggest Google Street View could help scientists monitor both endangered and invasive species.
The scientists detailed their findings online Oct. 9 in the journal PLOS ONE.
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