Google Street View Explores the Amazon with the Help of Local Communities
Google Street View is a feature of Google Maps that allows users to see panoramic images of streets and places around the world. But did you know that Street View also goes beyond the road and into some of the most remote and fascinating places on Earth
One of these places is the Amazon rainforest, the largest and most biodiverse tropical forest in the world. In 2012, Google partnered with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), a local non-profit organization, to capture images of the Amazon using special cameras mounted on boats, bikes and backpacks. The project aimed to raise awareness and appreciation for the natural and cultural heritage of the region, as well as to support the conservation efforts of FAS and other local groups.
Since then, Google has continued to update and expand its Street View coverage of the Amazon, with the help of local communities who live in and protect the forest. These communities have been trained by Google and FAS to use the Street View equipment and collect imagery of their surroundings, including rivers, trails, villages, schools, farms and wildlife. They have also shared their stories and knowledge about the Amazon through audio and video recordings that are integrated with the Street View images.
By involving local communities in the Street View project, Google hopes to empower them to showcase their culture and environment to a global audience, as well as to create a digital archive of their history and traditions. The project also aims to inspire people around the world to learn more about the Amazon and support its conservation.
You can explore some of the amazing views of the Amazon captured by Street View on Google Maps[^1^] or on the Google Maps Treks website[^2^]. You can also watch a video about how Street View works and where it will collect images next[^3^].
Some of the highlights of the Street View images of the Amazon include:
The Rio Negro, the largest tributary of the Amazon River and the largest blackwater river in the world. The river has a dark color due to the high concentration of organic matter from decomposing plants. The river is home to many unique species of fish, birds, reptiles and mammals, such as the pink river dolphin, the giant otter and the Amazonian manatee.
The Tumbira community, one of the first communities to participate in the Street View project. The community is located in the Rio Negro Sustainable Development Reserve, a protected area that covers more than 400,000 hectares of forest and water. The community members practice sustainable agriculture, fishing and tourism, and receive payments for environmental services from FAS and other partners.
The Jau National Park, the largest forest reserve in South America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park covers more than 2 million hectares of pristine forest and rivers, and hosts a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The park is also home to several indigenous groups, such as the Maku, the Hupda and the Yuhupdeh, who have their own languages and cultures.
The Boa Vista Trail, a 6-kilometer trail that connects two communities in the Jau National Park. The trail offers a glimpse of the different ecosystems and landscapes of the Amazon, such as flooded forests, dry forests, savannas and lakes. Along the trail, you can see various plants and animals, such as orchids, bromeliads, monkeys, sloths and macaws.
These are just some of the examples of the amazing places that you can discover with Street View in the Amazon. There are many more to explore and learn from. By using Street View, you can not only see the beauty and diversity of the Amazon, but also hear the voices and stories of the people who live there and care for it. aa16f39245