The Google Street View team in the Brazilian Amazon. Courtesy of Google.
Google has posted images of a stretch of rainforest and communities along the Amazon river on its Street View product available via Google Maps. The addition makes it possible to virtually explore communities and ecosystems in Earth’s largest tropical forest.
“Now anyone can experience the beauty and diversity of the Amazon,” wrote Karin Tuxen-Bettman, Project Lead for Google Street View in the Amazon, in a post on the Official Google Blog.
Some 50,000 still photos, collected by bicycle and boat, were used for the project which was done in partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), an NGO that works with the government of the state of Amazonas to develop forest conservation projects that generate benefits for local communities. FAS invited Google to its project sites in an effort to highlight its work.
Google takes Street View to the Brazilian Amazon. Courtesy of Google.
Beyond showcasing FAS, the project also provided Google an opportunity to collect imagery under conditions more challenging than an urban or suburban setting. The region’s high temperatures and humidity can stymie even the best technology.
Google has other projects to help increase understanding and awareness of forest ecosystems. The search giant has partnered with cutting-edge researchers to highlight technologies that are mapping forests and tracking deforestation. Google has further provided technical support to groups working to save rainforests in the Amazon, Indonesia, and the Congo Basin, among other places.
Google brings Street View, Maps to the Amazon
(03/22/2012) Google has posted images of a stretch of rainforest and communities along the Amazon river on its Street View product available via Google Maps. The addition makes it possible to virtually explore communities and ecosystems in Earth’s largest tropical forest.
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Google Earth to monitor deforestation
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How satellites are used in conservation
(04/13/2009) In October 2008 scientists with the Royal Botanical Garden at Kew discovered a host of previously unknown species in a remote highland forest in Mozambique. The find was no accident: three years earlier, conservationist Julian Bayliss identified the site—Mount Mabu—using Google Earth, a tool that’s rapidly becoming a critical part of conservation efforts around the world. As the discovery in Mozambique suggests, remote sensing is being used for a bewildering array of applications, from monitoring sea ice to detecting deforestation to tracking wildlife. The number of uses grows as the technology matures and becomes more widely available. Google Earth may represent a critical point, bringing the power of remote sensing to the masses and allowing anyone with an Internet connection to attach data to a geographic representation of Earth.
Development of Google Earth a watershed moment for the environment
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Photos: Google Earth used to find new species
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