Saturday, November 12, 2011

Google Street View Cameras Map The Amazon

Thursday November 10, 2011
Source: Sky News

Google mounted its panoramic cameras on a modified tricycle

Google has used a pedal-powered tricycle to start photographing the vast Amazon rainforest as part of its global Street View facility.

As a result internet users around the world will only be clicks away from travelling through rivers and remote inhabited areas of Brazil.

The project used a white tricycle equipped with panoramic 3D cameras and a boat to take snapshots of a small stretch of the world's biggest tropical forest.

Navigating down the Rio Negro river, a boat with the tricycle on top took thousands of shots of the jungle and its residents.

Although the pictures will only show a small slice of the gigantic forest, members of the Sustainable Amazon Foundation (FAS) which helped Google carry out the project, hope it will help spread environmental awareness.

Google spokesman Emmanuel Evita said the local communities were receptive towards their photo team.

"Entering these communities we spent a lot of time talking to the people in the communities and making sure that these communities understood what we were doing and agreed with what we were doing.

"I think that in those areas a lot of them feel that even in Brazil, even in the nearer cities, there is not a lot of knowledge about the fact that they exist there and that they live there.

"So they are seeing a lot of the attention that they are receiving as an opportunity to show that they have a local culture and they have many things they can share with potential visitors and tourists."

The Google camera tricycle was taken by boat along the river

Google left their image-capturing gear behind and have trained some local residents to take photos themselves.

He said Google understood that the best people to show their forest were the people who lived there.

The head of FAS in Brazil, Virgilio Vianna, said the foundation decided to support the project because they believe more knowledge of the forest will help save it.

"This is the purpose of this project, this partnership with Google, to allow people to get to know a little more about the forest, the rivers, the communities without leaving their home.

"And who knows, upon this first look at the Amazon they might become interested in getting involved in some way, maybe by visiting or joining projects and other positive initiatives."
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